I am very pleased that we have announced new funding to help get young people into work as we continue to prioritise job creation and ensure more young people can gain the skills they need to progress in their careers as we recover from the pandemic. My number one priority has been to support, protect and create jobs throughout the pandemic and we want to give businesses of all sizes an incentive to create more trainee opportunities to give young people a vital route into work. That’s why we have announced new funding as part of our Plan for Jobs, offering firms a £1,000 bonus for every trainee that they take on, up to a maximum of 10 trainees. The programmes last between 6 weeks and 12 months and focus on developing vital employability skills, alongside additional English, maths and digital skills. This is in addition to the apprentice scheme announced last year, which offers employers up to £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire, and our £2 billion Kickstart Scheme. As we recover from the pandemic it is vital that we help young people get the skills and confidence they need to progress as well as supporting businesses to create and fill more jobs in North Cornwall.
So far, over 120,000 jobs have been created for 16-24-year-olds through our flagship £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to date, we are making it even easier for employers of all sizes to sign up – as we redouble our efforts to support young people during the pandemic. I know that young people are often hit hardest when the economy faces significant challenges, which is why I will do everything in my power to ensure they are not left without hope or opportunity - honouring my pledge to support levelling up for North Cornwall. Since we launched our scheme last Autumn, we have been working with companies to create over 120,000 Kickstart jobs - more than ever was created through Labour’s Future Jobs Fund - to support young people on to the first rung of the job ladder; and to encourage more employers of all sizes to join, we are removing the minimum 30 vacancies requirement to apply, so we can help create hundreds of thousands more high-quality job placements. By moving our Kickstart Scheme up another gear, we will continue to work with companies across the country to invest in, and harness, the talents of our young people, putting them on the path to a brighter future as we build back better.
Finally, thank you for all the positive messages from across North Cornwall following my appointment as Government Whip and as Lord Commissioner to the Treasury. This is an unpaid role, and it will allow me to have a greater influence on the implementation of our manifesto commitments during this Parliament. Although I will no longer be able to speak in the Chamber, I will continue to push North Cornwall’s priorities through regular meetings with colleagues across all departments.