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FEA’s Kickstart Gateway creates key opportunity’ for FS equipment sector

FEA opens Gateway to government Kickstart scheme

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) has enthusiastically backed the government’s Kickstart scheme, which provides funding for employers to create job placements for 16-24 year olds. A limitation of the scheme is that an application must be for at least 30 job placements.

Now FEA has formed a Kickstart Gateway, meaning FEA members can apply – even if it’s only for one job.

John Whitehouse, chair of FEA, said, “The scheme is a massive opportunity to encourage young people into the foodservice equipment industry. The FEA secretariat has already received applications from several members – if any companies are thinking of applying, then I’d encourage them to do so speedily.”

FEA partnered with another trade association, BHETA (The British Home Enhancement Trade Association), to create the Gateway. The two associations have worked together in the past, as they have several mutual members. A Kickstart Gateway is a method by which smaller employers can club together to achieve the minimum 30 applications. “By working with BHETA we were able to quickly establish the requirements for the Gateway,” says Whitehouse.

The Kickstart scheme covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or National Living Wage, depending on the age of the applicant) for 25 hours per week, for six months. It also covers the costs of employer national insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. In addition there is £1,500 of funding available for each job placement to set up support and training, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other setup costs.

Whitehouse concluded, “These are tough times for employers, and tough times for young adults looking to enter the job market. The Kickstart scheme has the potential to make a major contribution to the foodservice equipment industry, both financially and by attracting the young starters we need.”