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Young people across Suffolk have begun their Kickstart journey after Suffolk Chamber of Commerce supported local employers to create over 300 job placements, with more to come.
The Government’s landmark Kickstart Scheme provides new, fully subsidised job placements for young people aged 16-24 and at risk of long-term unemployment – helping them get a vital first foot on the jobs ladder, and gain skills for the future.
The Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey joined several Suffolk Kickstarters during a virtual visit last week, along with the local employers who have taken them on – James White Drinks, The Write Impression, and Roland Plastics.
She heard how they’re already benefitting from the scheme as they train in roles ranging from marketing to manufacturing. Over 150,000 jobs nationwide have already been created through the scheme.
Secretary of State of Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, said: “Local Suffolk employers are helping our next generation of workers get on the jobs ladder and develop the skills needed to thrive in work – I encourage more businesses to join our national effort.
“This is undoubtedly a challenging time, but from Suffolk to Shetland employers are stepping up and young people are safely starting jobs thanks to the Kickstart Scheme.”
Lauren Clarke, a Kickstart participant working at Roland Plastics, a Woodbridge-based manufacturer of bespoke injection moulded plastics, said: “The Kickstart Scheme has allowed me to get a job at a local company and to learn new skills. The wraparound training being offered will help me to improve my skills with writing a CV and interview techniques.”
Joe Ketteridge, a Kickstart participant working at The Write Impression, a communications and digital marketing agency located in Brantham, said: “As a recent graduate, getting a job was never going to be simple – especially in a pandemic, but TWI and Kickstart has given me that opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier. The programme has given my employer the confidence to allow me to focus on training and expand on my skills.
“I think Kickstart has come just at the right time for young people looking for employment and will really help give knowledge and experience to my generation.”
John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added: “We’ve been associated with the Kickstart Scheme since the summer of last year and have enjoyed purposefully working with the DWP, our partners and the employers to get the Kickstart Scheme in Suffolk off to a flying start.
“The testimonies from Lauren and Joe demonstrate the massive opportunities such placements offer our young people and the chance for Suffolk’s businesses to potentially talent spot their new workforces of the future A true win-win.”
When it was launched last year, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Suffolk County Council, the county’s FE colleges, New Anglia LEP and the borough and district councils to form the Suffolk Gateway Partnership and support local organisations wanting to apply to the landmark Government scheme. Since then, 337 job placements have been approved for funding, with a further 93 in the pipeline.
The Kickstart Scheme forms part of the Government’s multi-billion-pound Plan for Jobs aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs.
To help spearhead efforts to get Brits back in work the DWP is continuing to hire an additional 13,500 new dedicated Work Coaches with 10,000 already in post, and later this year the new Restart Scheme will help over a million people who have been out of work for more than a year.
The Kickstart Scheme provides six-month employment placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit – assisting them to gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in the future.
In Suffolk, we are delivering Kickstart through a public sector partnership, alongside skills and training providers (including our colleges), with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce acting as the “Gateway” organisation for employers wishing to register their interest. 337 placements have been approved for funding, with a further 93 in the pipeline. Over nearly 50 of these placements are now up and running with the young people in post.
We are interested in hearing from those Suffolk organisations that have NOT as yet applied. This will help us better promote and operate the scheme over the coming months. And the survey takes less than a minute to complete – promise!
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