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21 September 2020

Hallam joins forces with employers to help graduates benefit from £2bn job creation fund

Sheffield Hallam University has partnered with organisations across the region to help create 6-month work placement opportunities through the Government’s recently announced £2bn Kickstart scheme

Press contact: Greg Mattocks-Evans | g.mattocks-evans@shu.ac.uk

Sheffield train station in the foreground with Sheffield Hallam University in the background

Kickstarter placements are aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit - with wages paid by the Government. The scheme is open to any young person looking to get a work placement, including graduates.

The new £2bn Kickstart scheme is designed to create thousands of new jobs for young people aged between 16-24 who are currently on Universal Credit.

Eligible young people on Universal Credit will be offered six-month work placements – The University is offering to work with employers who want to take advantage of the scheme by developing a graduate opportunity.

Hallam can ensure that any placement is at the right level for graduates and help provide suitable candidates for the role.

"Hallam graduates are well equipped to contribute to the economic recovery"

Conor Moss, group director of business engagement, skills and employability said: “We are facing a health and economic crisis like no other with young people most impacted; graduates are not isolated from this impact and will need more support to ensure they don’t face unemployment or underemployment.

“Hallam graduates are well equipped to contribute to the economic recovery and to that end we’ll be working across the region to match unemployed graduates with exciting and challenging internship programmes funded through Kickstarter.

“We have worked with a range of businesses for a number of years on graduate internships and will be reaching out to our employer network to develop these new opportunities under the Kickstarter scheme. If you’re interested in taking a graduate through the Kickstarter scheme then email us for more information”.

To work with Sheffield Hallam on creating graduate opportunities through the Kickstart scheme employers can contact them the University on 0114 225 5000 or email business@shu.ac.uk.

Furthermore, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield Digital and the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network have joined up with Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and other partners across the city to help smaller businesses, social enterprises and organisations get young people into work.

Large companies who plan to create more than 30 work placements can access the funding directly but smaller companies with fewer positions need to use an intermediary organisation to make a funding application. In a first of its kind in the country, business groups in the city have joined up in partnership with the Council to give small businesses a single gateway to access this funding.

Louisa Harrison Walker, interim executive director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “The government has made it difficult for smaller companies to access the Kickstart programme but Sheffield Chamber, working with the Council and business groups across the city, has moved quickly to make it possible for our city’s small businesses to benefit from this funding.

“The government funding is welcome but the details on how to access the funding are complicated. There is some real teamwork going on in Sheffield to sort out the details to make it easy for small businesses to apply for the money they need to create these much-needed work placements. This teamwork is further evidence of the new partnerships that have developed in the city during the pandemic.”

“To keep things simple, small businesses can register their interest in the Kickstart programme by contacting Sheffield Chamber. This is for any small business, regardless of whether they are a member of the Chamber or another organisation. The Council and business groups are moving really quickly to setup the intermediary service so we can immediately begin to help businesses access the funding they need to create these jobs and to help young people get into high quality work placements.”

The Sheffied Partnership for Jobs and Skills has been formed out of the Covid-19 Business Response Group (BRG) that was set up by business groups and the Council at the start of the pandemic.

The BRG is co-chaired by representatives from Sheffield Chamber and the Council and involves business groups, cultural bodies as well as the city’s two universities.

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