Kent

Kent County Council could pay employers to create jobs

Employers could be paid to give young people jobs in a scheme put forward by Kent County Council (KCC) to tackle youth unemployment.

KCC would give £3,000 to an employer to hire a non-graduate for 18 months and £6,000 to hire a graduate.

The council would fund the scheme from its £2m Big Society Fund and also seek further government funding.

Plans are being discussed at a meeting on Friday with a final decision expected in March.

If it goes ahead, the first young people would start work in April.

Councillor Mike Hill, cabinet spokesman for communities, said the plan was to give young people some work experience and help them find employment.

He said: "Young people who have been out of work for a long time lose the confidence and the ability to get a job and we are trying to make sure we help the young people of Kent."

Employers that would be targeted included private sector firms with less than 50 workers, public sector organisations and social enterprises, a council report said.

The report said the aim was to ease the short-term crisis in youth unemployment and stop young people getting trapped in a cycle of unemployment.

On Wednesday, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the number of young people looking for work across the UK had hit a new record of 1.043m, taking the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds to 22.3%.

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