The government’s ‘Kickstart’ programme for growing skills and getting young people into work is supported by SW Wilts MP Andrew Murrison. But he wants clarity from Department for Work and Pensions Minister Thérèse Coffey after being contacted by local businesses keen to get involved.

The scheme was introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July as part of the government’s overall £30 billion ‘Plan for Jobs’, to provide new opportunities to those who have lost jobs as a result of the pandemic or are new to the job market and in danger of sustained unemployment.

Specifically, ‘Kickstart’ facilitates work placements by paying 100% of the national minimum wage/living wage for 25 hours per week for up to six months, National Insurance contributions, and grants to businesses for set-up purposes.

Dr Murrison said: “I support DWP’s efforts to develop skills and employability through schemes such as ‘Kickstart’. The demand for jobs is high, particularly among the young in South West Wiltshire during these uncertain times.

“But constituents who are business owners have written to me to inform me of some issues with the scheme, particularly the feedback process. Because I strongly believe the scheme will be hugely beneficial in the current climate, I have written to Minister Coffey to seek clarity on the process and to support my constituents’ applications.”