Alnwick Chamber of Trade has submitted an application to the £2 billion Kickstart Scheme which aims to create thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds.
The scheme provides funding to employers to create new six-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.
However, applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements so Chamber members got together to reach the minimum number.
Toby Fletcher, of Origin Designed on the Lionheart Enterprise Park, has pulled together the Alnwick bid.
He said: "While it might be fine if you’re a big employer, there’s no way we could afford to employ 30 people so we asked, through the Chamber of Trade, whether any other employers could provide a placement for an apprentice or two.
“We’ve managed to get 35 Alnwick businesses to back the application which is great. The response has exceeded my expectations.
“Many of the opportunities would be in retail and tourism, as you might expect in an area like this, and we’re putting in for three placements ourselves,” he added.
The Kickstart Scheme forms part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ that aims to spur the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus outbreak.
Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.
The jobs will give young people – who are more likely to have been furloughed, with many working in sectors disproportionately hit by the pandemic - the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.
The Chancellor said: “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.
“The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.”