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Moray Council green light to Kickstart scheme for young jobless

By Alan Beresford

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MORAY Council have been given the green light to participate in a scheme to help young people avoid unemployment.

Chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership, Councillor Graham Leadbitter.
Chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership, Councillor Graham Leadbitter.

The Kickstart programme, which is run by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), funding for employers to take young people who are on Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment on six-month work placements to get them back into the labour market.

The jobs, which will pay the Living Wage, will support young people aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment.

The posts are for 25-hours a week for a six-month period, and will be recruited over the next 18 months to support economic recovery in Moray. Further funding is available to provide support that will enable the young person to get a job in the future. This could include CV development, interview skills, mentoring and coaching alongside their work placement.

Approval for the local authority to take part in the initiative was given an today's full council meeting.

Moray Council’s analysis has shown that young people are disproportionately impacted at times of recession - and this increases the risk of losing young people from the area unless there are opportunities for them here.

The Kickstart initiative is being supported by the Moray Chamber of Commerce and a number of local employers have indicated interest in taking placements.

Chairman of the Moray Economic Partnership, Councillor Graham Leadbitter, said it was not a risk the authority could afford to take as it strives to retain talent in the local area, this being a key objective of both Moray Economic Strategy and the Moray Growth Deal.

“We need to seize every opportunity to support our young people and encourage them to remain in Moray," he continued.

“We hope that by offering meaningful job opportunities paying the Living Wage, a significant employer like the council will show the scope of careers available on their doorstep and how fulfilling and valuable working in local public services can be.”

Conservative group Councillor Tim Eagle (Buckie) also welcomed the move.

He said: “Under the £2 billion scheme the UK government will cover 100 per cent of the costs of employment for 25 hours a week for a period of six months for those on universal credit who may be at risk of long term unemployment.

"Moray Council is proposing 15 jobs as well as working in partnership with Moray Chamber of Commerce. These are new jobs and I welcome the work that has already been done to get this in place.

“In the last few months we have seen a huge growth deal for Moray worth tens of millions of pounds and now we have in place one of the fastest economic recovery packages built by and with local businesses. I believe this shows a clear commitment to supporting the local economy.

“I want nothing more than to support our local people within our local economy and I welcome these schemes, I want to remind everyone that there is a wide range of support on offer to help those looking for employment, please do get in touch with you local councillor or the fantastic third sector organisations in Moray which can help.”

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