Significant change announced by Chancellor on Kickstart
key update from John Bridge OBE DL

From 3 February 2021, employers can apply directly to the Kickstart scheme for any number of job placements. The government is removing the threshold of 30 job placements. All businesses can also choose to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.

Kickstart gateways already working with the scheme can continue to add more employers and job placements to their grant agreement.

Recognising there are over 600 gateways, from 28 January 2021 they are closing applications from new Kickstart gateways.

Following the removal by the Chancellor of the minimum placement criteria for small business, as a Chamber we have learnt that this action was taken in response to the Treasury’s concern over Providers who were failing to pass on the £1,500 training grant to Employers and Gateways being slow to respond to small business.

For each placement, gateway providers receive £300 to support administrative costs, while employers are supposed to receive £1,500 per placement for help with setup costs and employability skills training.

Gateway providers and employers were free to come to “suitable arrangements” on how that support would be provided.

However, it would seem some Gateway Providers saw this as a revenue opportunity and were charging Employers the full £1,500 for wrap around support.

Whilst welcoming this change, from my perspective it is very disappointing to hear that other Gateways have failed to see the principle beyond this scheme and instead have put their own interests first. As a Chamber we have always accepted that this scheme is designed to tackle what will be a growing issue of youth unemployment over the next few years as we recover from the economic crisis and it is paramount that the needs of the Employer and the Young Person are at the heart of any Gateway offer.

Today’s press release can be found here

Chamber welcomes proposal for increased business role in Further Education

In respect of the Skills for Jobs White Paper launched last week, we very much welcome these ambitious plans to put the skills needs of businesses at the heart of the further education system. As our local business leaders look to rebuild their firms and communities in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is essential to ensure that the right skills and training provision is in place to support growth.

As a Chamber we can play a leading role in developing local skills plans that reflect the needs of employers in their areas, working closely with colleges, councils and other partners.

Together, we can increase the focus on skills for the workplace - the digital, technical and broader skills that help businesses grow, succeed and create good jobs.  

We look forward to working with the Department for Education, training providers, businesses and other stakeholders across the FE sector to further develop these proposals, making sure more people can train and retrain for new and emerging jobs in their local communities.

The Skills for Jobs White Paper can be found here

Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House • 2 Station Yard • Oakington • CB24 3AH • United Kingdom