Two local businesses joined forces in July last year to tackle youth unemployment in Horsham by actively promoting the Government’s new Youth Contract for employers and jobseekers.
Last year Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), a charity providing employment services to jobseekers from Sussex and Kent, supported Interior Concepts Ltd, a Trading Standards approved bespoke office design, refurbishment and installation company, to employ an apprentice, Mr. Paul Evans, utilizing the financial incentives available to businesses through the Youth Contract.
Paul’s workload has dramatically increased since his initial employment and now RBLI and Interior Concepts Ltd are celebrating him becoming a permanent member of staff, following the successful completion of his 6 month probation period.
Paul explains, “In the last 6 months the job has evolved dramatically. We have completed around 25 installations, including partitioning, suspended ceilings, decorating and electrical installations. I love that I am learning new trade skills every day while on the job, but the best thing about being employed is that I am now financially independent and can support my family.”
The Youth Contract is a £1 billion package of national support to get young people earning or learning again, before any long term damage associated with being unemployed can be done, such as loss of self esteem and becoming dependant on benefits. It provides employers with a financial incentive of up to £2,275 to employ an 18 to 24 year old from the Work Programme for a minimum of 26 weeks.
Colin Wells, founder of Interior Concepts Ltd, is pleased that the Youth Contract has worked to his company’s advantage, “Finding work can be particularly challenging for young people so it was great to be able to offer this opportunity by making full use of the Youth Contract’s wage incentive which directly helped our cash-flow whilst training Paul.
“Paul is quickly becoming proficient in all aspects of our work and is fast becoming an asset to the business. He has given me an extra pair of hands to carry out tasks, which has enabled me to make better use of my time. We’ve become good friends in and outside of work, he’s also my new squash partner.”
RBLI is a Kent based charity which specialises in working with employers to support people of all ages, skill levels and backgrounds back into work as a sub-contractor to G4S through the Government’s Work Programme scheme.
Colin continues, “RBLI selected suitable candidates, which saved me from having to search for and interview lots of candidates to find those with the right skills. They let me use their interview rooms, helped set up contracts and offered advice on employment legislation. As the service is free, I also saved on recruitment costs.
“And I am pleased that, with RBLI’s help, I am able to support younger jobseekers in the community. I’m now looking to take on a junior marketer through the same contract, as I know it works!”
Peggy Seddon, Centre Manager for RBLI in Horsham, is keen to show more businesses the advantages of the Youth Contract, while supporting jobseekers in the community, “There are clear financial incentives for employers thinking about utilising the Youth Contract or hiring an apprentice, coupled with our free employer facilities and support.
“We are excited about local business supporting young jobseekers in the community into meaningful employment and are really pleased for Paul that he is using his existing skills and experiences on the job while gaining self efficacy, financial independence and new business skills.”
If you are an employer located in or around Horsham and would like to discuss the Youth Contract, please contact RBLI’s Horsham branch on 01403 211919 or email email@example.com. If you are an 18 to 24 year old jobseeker please contact your local Job Centre Plus. For general information about the Youth Contract please visit http://www.dwp.gov.uk/youth-contract/.
About the Youth Contract
The Youth Contract is a £1 billion package of national support to get young people earning or learning again before any long term damage can be done. It provides employers with a substantial financial incentive of up to £2,275, to employ an 18 to 24 year old from the Work Programme for at least 26 weeks.
The wage incentive is available when you employ someone from 16 hours or more per week. There is a part-time rate (£1,137.50) between 16 and 29 hours and a full-time rate (£2,275) for 30 hours or more. The job still has to last for at least 26 weeks.
The wage incentives are primarily available to the private, voluntary community sectors and social enterprise employers. RBLI will work with these employers to identify employment opportunities and issue claim forms when an 18 to 24 year old starts suitable employment.
For more information visit http://www.dwp.gov.uk/youth-contract/.
About Interior Concepts Ltd
Interior Concepts Ltd is an independent office interiors specialist. Established for over 15 years carrying out bespoke supply of office partitions, interior office design and fit out for client projects ranging from under £1,000 to over £500,000 within the private office, education, industrial & health care sectors throughout the Home Counties of Sussex, Surrey & Hampshire.
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RBLI is a Not-for-profit Charity that was established in 1919 to provide health and occupational care for troops returning from the Great War. RBLI continues to support veterans and their families, and in recent years the organisation has developed its client base to include people with disabilities. RBLI provides accommodation for approximately 200 residents, is a Welfare to Work provider for 12,000 customers and a well-established Social Enterprise based in Aylesford Kent.
RBLI re-invests the successes made from commercial activities into charitable programmes such as LifeWorks – an innovative guidance course designed for the Armed Forces Community, to build on their existing skills for life beyond the Armed Forces.W: www.rbli.co.uk T:01622 795900 E: Enquiries@rbli.co.uk
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