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Crawley MP calls on local businesses to signup to ‘landmark’ kickstart employment scheme

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Henry Smith MP has welcomed the Government’s ‘landmark’ new Kickstart scheme and called on local employers to sign up and help young people into work to mark the opening of the initiative.

The £2 billion scheme has been designed to ensure young people at risk of long-term unemployment have a future of opportunity and hope by creating quality, government-subsidised jobs across the UK, helping to spur the country’s economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

Henry said;

“The Government’s £2 billion Kickstart scheme has launched and I’m calling on local employers across Crawley to sign up to provide Kickstart jobs.

“We can’t allow young people to be left behind as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and schemes like this will be vital for creating jobs and giving young people the skills to access them.

“I’m delighted that the Government are putting young people are the heart of its plans to build back stronger after the pandemic, and hope as many as possible in Crawley are able to take part.”

Under the scheme, announced in June as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, employers that sign up will be able to offer young people aged from 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement that is fully funded by the government.

This means the Government will pay 100 per cent of the young persons’ age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week, which the employer can top up if they chose to. In addition, the Government will also pay the employer £1,500 for each young person they take on, to support any training or associated costs like uniforms that they might incur when setting up the scheme.

The scheme will initially be open until December 2021, but there is the option for it to be extended. Young people will be referred into the new roles through their Jobcentre Plus work coach with the first Kickstarts expected to begin at the start of November.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented;

“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.”

The Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Therese Coffey, added;

“Kickstart is the most ambitious youth employment programme in this country’s history, with an unlimited number of placements available and a commitment by this government to pay every Kickstarter’s wages for six months.

“We are putting young people at the heart of our recovery by investing in potential, opening up opportunities and harnessing hope.

“Together we will build back better, come back stronger and look forward to a prosperous future.

“Employers should sign up today.”

For more information please visit: www.gov.uk/kickstart

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BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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