IT was 1970s/80s band The Specials who famously belted out the lyrics ‘you’ve done too much, much too young’.
Well, in today’s economic climate, that message doesn’t really apply to the younger generation as far as getting their feet under the table in the job market is concerned – although help is now at hand. Because business owners are being targeted with financial incentives in an initiative which has been launched to get those between 18-24-year-olds into employment.
Employers will be able to claim what is termed as a ‘wage incentive’ when employing a young person between those ages. The applicants must be long-term unemployed, with a jobless spell of nine months considered in that category, although the rules are expected to be relaxed with three months possibly an option once the scheme has become established. The financial incentive is intended to help firms raise more than a year’s worth of National Insurance contributions for the employee.
The great news for businesses is they can claim the benefit once the employee has completed six months with the company. An added bonus is companies being able to bill the Department of Work and Pensions to claim a percentage of the money after just eight weeks, to help ease cashflow.
The scheme will operate until 2014 – with around 170,000 placements covered. And although in the past, red tape and bureaucracy have formed a barrier to this type of enterprise getting off the ground, the processes involved have been discussed with a selection of business owners and a working template brought in. All that is required is the completion of a two-page document.
As The Specials would say – and not just to those called Rudy – here’s a message to you. The scheme has been designed to help all parties involved and simply, the cash is on the table already. All businesses need to do is sign up. Now that is what you call special.