The Guild has questioned Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Kickstart programme which provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds, highlighting how it can exclude smaller estate agents.
The scheme, which is backed by a £2 billion fund, is hoping to create hundreds of thousands of six-month work placements for this age group following the Covid lockdown.
It funds employers to pay the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week plus NI and pension contributions.
Agents wanting to get involved must bid to be included in the scheme, which is expected to see the first work placements begin in November.
But The Guild of Property Professionals is not happy over a recent clarification by the Department of Work and Pensions, which has revealed that employers must make at least 30 placements available to qualify.
This gives an unwarranted advantage to large and usually corporate agencies and unfairly excludes smaller independent estate and letting agents, the Guild claims.
It says members have been in contact who are keen to get involved but who now realise they do not qualify individually, although if agents club together and offer 30 placements collectively then the scheme does apply.
“To help our Members compete on a level playing field with the larger corporates, The Guild are proposing to act as a representative for our Members who would like to offer a new position to a young person who has been long-term unemployed on the Kickstart Scheme,” says Iain McKenzie (pictured, above), CEO of the Guild.