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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

MP welcomes Mainstream application to become Kickstart Gateway Organisation

5th October 2020
MP welcomes Mainstream application to become Kickstart Gateway Organisation

Gordon Henderson MP has welcomed news that the Mainstream Group has applied to become a Kickstart Gateway Organisation, which will enable small businesses to offer work placements to young people as part of a new Government scheme.

The £2 billion Kickstart scheme has been designed for employers to offer six-month work placements to 16-24 year olds, who are currently claiming Universal Credit, and at risk of long-term unemployment, and give them the opportunity to gain valuable experience and skills for the future. The placements are fully funded by the Government.

To take part in the Kickstart Scheme, businesses must be able to offer a minimum of 30 work placements, however, if an employer is not able to meet that criteria, they can link up with other businesses via a Kickstart Gateway Organisation and submit a group application. Mainstream, a training provider in Sittingbourne, has taken on this responsibility.

Mr Henderson said:

‘I know of a number of small businesses in my constituency that are keen to offer work placements to young people and they were concerned they would be unable to take part because they could not meet the 30 placement criteria.

‘I am pleased Mainstream have decided to apply to become a Kickstart Gateway Organisation and try to link businesses together to help the young people of Sittingbourne and Sheppey unleash their potential.’

Mark Smith, Managing Director of Mainstream said:

“We welcome the KickStart scheme, which will hopefully prove to be a key initiative in helping to put our local economy back on track and support the young adults in our area to find full-time employment in the future.

‘Our team stand ready to assist all employers, not only as a Gateway partner but also by providing work skills and employability training as required.’

Any employers that are interested in linking up with other local businesses via the Kickstart Gateway Organisation can contact Rebecca Adams, the Business Development Manager at Mainstream on [email protected].

The scheme will initially be open until December 2021, but there is the option for it to be extended. Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach, with the first Kickstart placements expected to begin at the start of November.

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