With levels of youth unemployment at their highest since 2016, Offploy – an organisation which offers jobseeker support to socially-excluded people – is urging businesses to seize the chance to make the most of Government-funded work placements.
House of Commons Library statistics show the number of young people claiming unemployment-related benefits increased by 281,000 between March to November 2020 – a rise of 119%. In a bid to combat the soaring figures, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his £2 billion ‘Kickstart’ scheme in July 2020.
The initiative has already funded thousands of job opportunities for those at risk of long-term unemployment – and Yorkshire headquartered Offploy has now received approval to distribute a grant to employers to support 124 young people, who are receiving Universal Credit, in obtaining sustainable roles.
Chosen as a ‘DWP approved gateway’ by the Department of Work and Pensions, Offploy has been approved to distribute funds to over 50 employers already – with the ability to help additional companies hire more young people.
The recruitment specialist is urging other companies to embrace the opportunity to offer six-monthly work placements to those aged between aged 16 to 24 – with wages paid entirely by the Government, as well as up to £1,500 in support grants, per candidate.
Jacob Hill, founder of Offploy, explained: “Statistics show that 591,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in September-November 2020 – an increase of 10,000 from the previous quarter and an increase of 109,000 from the year before.
“As such, it’s harder than ever for young people to get their foot on the career ladder, with few employers willing to give a chance to those who didn’t continue in education or find work upon leaving school.
“This programme is designed to encourage young people to make a positive contribution to society, while removing the element of risk from the HR department. What could be better than the opportunity to ‘trial’ a worker, completely risk-free, for six months – with the cost of wages, onboarding, and training requirements covered?”
As a not-for-profit organisation which was originally founded to help those with criminal convictions secure meaningful, mentored, and sustainable employment, Offploy represents one of several hundred gateways enabling access to the scheme.
Each placement recruited via the social enterprise allows the firm to reinvest revenue into helping those ex-offenders find work – which in turn has been proven to reduce reoffending rates and make society safer.
The registration process involves completing a short form, with Offploy’s team taking care of the rest. HR managers and company leaders can sign up via https://www.offploy.org/kickstart.