As the number young people not in employment, education or training increases, the Government is urging employers to take up wage incentives worth up to £2,275 from April 2012 by recruiting 18-24 year-olds from their Work Programme. Read on to find out what's involved. The Work Programme is part of the Government's Youth Contract, which will see £1 billion given to employers, including small local businesses. Employers can access the money for taking on young unemployed people through a ‘wage subsidy', which will pay for costs such as National Insurance contributions. To qualify for the scheme, the job provided must last 26 weeks, start after 2 April 2012 and the placement must be organised through a preferred Work Programme provider. Getting started If you're interested in employing an 18-24 year old with support from a wage subsidy, you should register your interest with local Work Programme providers. Details of these can be found by region here. Work Programme providers are responsible for working with local employers to identify suitable employment opportunities for participants. Where the wage subsidy is appropriate, they will liaise with employers, provide them with support and issue claims forms. Getting paid Firms with fewer than 50 employees will be paid in instalments; once after eight weeks and once after 26 weeks. Larger firms will have to wait 26 weeks for payment. The programme is also available to companies providing part time positions (between 16 and 29 hours per week) at a rate of £1,137.50. What's in it for small businesses? If you have a short-term skills gap to fill or need extra cover for busy periods, this scheme could provide you with a cost-effective and relatively risk-free option. In the current economic conditions, there is an abundance of high quality and enthusiastic young workers waiting for an opportunity to get involved in a variety of tasks and to apply their skills to your business. Plus, you'll be helping a new generation of workers to get onto the jobs ladder, which in turn will help local communities and the economy as a whole. Other alternatives If you want to support young people getting into work, other subsidised options are available to small businesses. Read more about apprenticeships and work experience.
As the number young people not in employment, education or training increases, the Government is urging employers to take up wage incentives worth up to £2,275 from April 2012 by recruiting 18-24 year-olds from their Work Programme.