British Marine is now a Kickstart Gateway Employer Representative for a new government scheme, working for both its members and the wider marine / maritime community.
Kickstart aims to create high quality six month work placements for those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. There’s a £2bn fund underpinning the idea.
In financial terms, it’s more or less free to become involved and take on a staff member(s). The government will fully fund each ‘kickstart’ job – paying 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week. There’s also £1500 for employers to set up support and training for kickstarters, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.
British Marine is acting as an employer representative organisation. If a business can commit to 30 placements, the business can work directly with the government. But if not? British Marine can act on behalf of a business, handling grant applications and administration.
It’s “a fantastic opportunity for British Marine members and the wider marine industry, and a welcome response to the pandemic from the government,” says Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine. “The leisure marine industry is a large employer, with the UK’s 5,800 marine businesses directly contributing £1.4bn GVA to the country’s economy, and faces the challenges of skills shortages. Kickstart scheme’s innovation creates a unique incentive for employers and workers alike.
“British Marine is making it easy for businesses to join and I am pleased so many are signing up. This is just the start and I strongly encourage as many employers as possible to apply, and embrace this chance to expand their workforce, and give young people the chance to develop their employability skills.”
Jon Partridge, CEO at RS Sailing, says the company has already got the wheels in motion. “RS Sailing would not have been able to access the opportunity and benefits without British Marine’s assistance,” he says. “We feel the work placements are going to support the growth of RS Sailing in 2021.”