Council offers wage support scheme to boost job creation

Sam Gibbs
Image caption Sam Gibbs is one of those who has found employment thanks to the scheme

A council is offering to pay local small businesses half the salary of newly hired staff.

North East Lincolnshire Council is spending £1.7m subsidising wages in a bid to boost employment in the area.

The scheme aims to create up to 350 jobs using a central government grant for deprived areas.

Despite the funding only lasting for 12 months the council claims the initiative "will create long-term sustainable jobs."

One person to benefit from the campaign is Sam Gibbs from Grimsby. The mother-of-four was on benefits for a number of years before being taken on by a wedding decorations company.

As well as the financial benefit Ms Gibbs said starting work had helped improve her self-esteem.

She said: "It's hard being on benefits and not having money and not being able to do the things you want to do. But, it's a lot easier now.

"It's made me feel a lot more confident and it's given me an identity back. I'm not just a mum, I can actually be Sam and it's really improved my life."

Long-term viability

Currently 28 local businesses have signed up for the scheme. Firms have to have been operating for a least six months and have fewer that 250 employees.

Wages will only be subsidised for 12 months, which has led to questions about the long-term viability of the newly created jobs.

The Labour leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, Councillor Chris Shaw, said he was convinced the newly created posts would continue after the funding ended.

"If we thought it was just a short-term solution we wouldn't be doing it. This will create long-term sustainable jobs for residents of North East Lincolnshire."

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