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Somerset Chamber helps to secure more than £1.5 million in business funding

Somerset Chamber is proud to have helped the county’s businesses secure more than £1.5 million in Government funding to support young people into work and help firm’s find new talent.

The Chamber has been acting as an official gateway for the Government’s Kickstart Scheme and some 300 young people have already been given placements, with 121 business taking part through the Chamber.

Kickstart helps companies cover the cost of employing a 16 to 24-year-old for six months, for 25 hours a week, with no cost to the business. Government pays 100% of the National Minimum Wage for those 25 hours, plus National Insurance contributions. Employers can increase the hours worked each week, but at their own cost.

Employers also receive a £1,500 set-up grant for the placement to cover the cost of training, equipment or even travel.

Emma Rawlings, Executive Director of Somerset Chamber, said: “The figures are absolutely phenomenal and I’m proud the Chamber has played such a significant part in the success of this scheme in the South West. All credit to the Chamber’s Jenn Chidley-Sanders and our own Kickstarter Hayley Nicholson who spearheaded our involvement in the scheme.”

Jenn and Hayley were able to meet Employment Minister Mims Davies MP, in Taunton last year, to highlight the work the Chamber has been doing as an official gateway for the Kickstart Scheme.

Ms Davies also met businesses supported through the application process for a Kickstarter by Somerset Chamber, including Braunability, Rexquote, Gardner Creative and The Emporium, Yeovil, as well as several of the Kickstarters themselves.

Jenn, the Chamber’s Member Engagement and Policy Manager, said: “When we heard about the Kickstart scheme, it seemed the perfect opportunity for businesses to support young people.

“It has not been without its challenges, but, overall, it has been an exceptional scheme to be involved in. We have been able to help 121 businesses and given 300 young starters the opportunity to find work and learn new skills, which has been absolutely wonderful to see.”

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