The government has today announced the launch of a new £2 billion pound Kickstart Scheme aimed at creating “hundreds of thousands of new jobs for young people” across the UK.
The Kickstart Scheme is part of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s #PlanForJobs.
Under the new scheme, a number of fully subsidised six-month placements will be open to those aged 16-24 who are currently claiming Universal Credit and are thus at risk of long-term unemployment.
These placements will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales, and the first placements are likely to be available from November.
According to a statement released today on the gov.uk website, employers will be able to receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25-hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. There will also be extra funding available to support young people in building up their experience and helping them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart-funded job.
Whilst the Kickstart Scheme is not to be misinterpreted as an apprenticeship, participants may move on to an apprenticeship at any time during, or after their job placement.
How does the Kickstart Scheme work?
Employers in can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new six-month job placements for young people age 16-24, and they should support the participants to develop the skills and experience that they need to find work after completing the scheme.
Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25-hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions, and can be accessed following a successful application process.
There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.
Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements, and if an employer is unable to offer this many job placements, they then have the opportunity to partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.
Those applying on behalf of a group of employers can also get an additional £300 of funding to support with the associated administrative costs of bringing together these employers.
Who can apply for funding?
According to the gov.uk criteria, any organisation can apply for funding, but the job placements created with Kickstart Scheme funding must be new jobs and They must not replace existing or planned vacancies, or cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
The roles that employers apply for Kickstart Scheme funding for must be:
A minimum of 25 hours per week for six months.
Paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group.
Should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement.
Each application should include how employers will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals, support with CV and interview preparations, and supporting the participant with basic skills, such as attendance, timekeeping and teamwork.
Once a job placement is created, it can be taken up by a second person once the first successful applicant has completed their six-month term.
How to apply?
Applications for the Kickstart Scheme are being accepted now from employers, or groups of employers.
If your organisation is creating more than 30 job placements as part of the Kickstart Scheme, you can submit your application directly here, but if your organisation is creating fewer than 30 job placements, you cannot apply directly and you must partner with other organisations in order to create a minimum of 30 job placements before applying.
You can find out more about becoming or finding a representative for a group of employers here.
More information about the Kickstart Scheme is available via the gov.uk website here.
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.
‘Dangerous’ disqualified driver jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan
A “dangerous” disqualified driver has been handed jail time after crashing into a funfair in Wigan last year.
Jordan O’Reilly, from Platt Bridge in Wigan, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, perverting the course of justice, and failing to provide a specimen.
The 21-year-old was given three years behind bars following a trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (29 February).
O’Reilly’s sentencing comes after he crashed his vehicle into a funfair in Wigan while trying to evade a police pursuit back in October 2023.
#JAILED I A disqualified driver who led police on a chase and crashed into a crowded funfair in #Wigan has been jailed for 3 years
After failing to stop for a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrol, O’Reilly then drove in excess of the speed limit and overtook a number of vehicles, all before proceeding to abandon his own moving vehicle to escape.
The vehicle O’Reilly abandoned then carried on moving, and shockingly, ended up colliding with two members of the public at the funfair – with one woman sadly left with “serious injuries” as a result.
But thanks to the help of members of the public, O’Reilly was identified as the driver and later arrested by police.
A ‘dangerous’ disqualified driver has been jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan / Credit: GMP
After he was released on bail, it was established that he had attempted to engage others into assisting him in evading prosecution.
Speaking following O’Reilly’s sentencing this week, PC Wood, of GMP Transport Unit, commented: “O’Reilly’s disregard to his driving disqualification and actions behind the wheel that day were reckless and dangerous, and he put countless people at risk of harm. The injuries caused to the victim show the consequences dangerous driving has on other people.
“GMP would like to thank the members of the public who ensured that O’Reilly faced justice for his actions.”
PC Wood also took a moment to remind the Greater Manchester public that if they know someone who is driving whist dangerously, or while disqualified or unfit to be doing so, then they should report it to GMP.