01 May 2013
The Back to Work Employment Grant has been improved to encourage more employers to take on locally qualified people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more.
Since its launch in May 2012, the grant, which offers employers up to £7,200 for providing eligible jobseekers with permanent or long term contracts, has helped 132 people find employment.
Social Security Minister Senator Le Gresley said “The grant has successfully provided jobseekers with access to employment but after a year it was right to review it and make it as accessible as possible for employers. We have made changes based on employer feedback, including an increase in quarterly payments available, contract flexibility on contracts for the first months of employment and assistance with the legal and contractual aspects of taking someone on for smaller employers.”
The Employment Grant now features:
- an increase in quarterly interim payments from £500 to a maximum of £1,000
- access to £500 worth of training which is required for new employees to fulfil their role
- flexibility on contracts for the first three months of employment, allowing employers the option to provide a zero hours or temporary contract before converting to a permanent contract
- access to free, professional HR advice for employers with five employees or fewer.
“I would encourage all local employers to contact the Back to Work team, find out about the candidates they can match with current vacancies and how they can make the recruitment process as quick and simple as possible. Back to Work are uniquely placed to bridge the gap between employers and jobseekers with a wide range of skills and experience who could be a huge asset to someone’s business,” said Senator Le Gresley.
He said that tackling unemployment remained a key priority for the Council of Ministers and that Back to Work would continue to build on the successes of the last year.
“I have no doubt that the unemployment figures recorded so far this year would have been higher without investment in the Back to Work programme. However, the labour market remains extremely competitive and there is still a pressing need to provide targeted support for those who are furthest from work,” he said.