LOCAL companies have signed up for a work placement scheme to help young people get more experience.

Tesco in Greenock and Port Glasgow, M&D Green Pharmacies and EXPD are all taking part in the Kickstart programme.

The scheme enables employers to offer a six-month placement to youngsters aged 16 to 24 who are claiming Universal Credit.

Eileen McClafferty, Kickstart's employer and partner manager Inverclyde, said: "The jobs will give young people, the opportunity to build their skills in the workplace and to gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work."

She added: "It starts this month and will run for 18 months.

"We are appealing for any other companies out there to get involved."

The government will fully fund each Kickstart job - paying 100 per cent of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, National Insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

It will also pay employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, as well as helping pay for uniforms and other set up costs.

Employers must create a minimum of 30 posts to apply directly.

To help smaller businesses, employers offering less than 30 placements will be asked to make a bid through an intermediary.

Commerce and CVS Inverclyde to become representatives, as well as a number of employers looking to create placement opportunities. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-grant-through-the-kickstart-scheme