Youngsters on job scheme show they can be valuable assets

Youngsters taking part in the Kickstart scheme are showing employers how valuable they can be 

Youngsters taking part in the Kickstart scheme are showing employers how valuable they can be - Credit: Getty Images

Youngsters across Suffolk are gaining permanent jobs thanks to a new scheme providing them with a chance to get employment experience.

New data shows three-quarters of employers taking part in the Kickstart scheme are providing permanent roles for their new recruits.

The Government Kickstart scheme aims to provide six-month employment opportunities for those aged 16-24 on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

It is understood more than 730 placements have been created across a range of industries in Suffolk, with 250 of those being delivered through the ‘Gateway Partnership’ comprising Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, colleges and skills and training providers.

According to the county council – which is itself an employer of Kickstart recruits – 75% of Suffolk’s employers have or are looking to provide permanent roles for their recruits.

Rachel Hood, county council cabinet member for education and skills, said: “The Kickstart scheme has provided many excellent employment opportunities for young people across the county with over 250 placements being filled via the Suffolk Gateway Partnership alone.

rachel hood

Conservative cabinet member for education and skills at Suffolk County Council, Rachel Hood - Credit: Simon Lee Photography Suffolk UK

“Much credit should go to our local businesses who have responded so positively to the opportunity to create placements, as well as the young people themselves for proving how valuable an asset they can be, as indicated by over 75% of individuals being retained beyond the six month placement.”

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Funding is provided to employers to cover the wages of their recruits at minimum wage level for 25 hours per week, as well as additional support for development and training.

Paul Simon from the Suffolk chamber said: “The fact that Suffolk has punched above its weight both in terms of the number of placements approved and filled is another vindication of the Suffolk model of private/public sector collaboration and purposeful joint working.

Paul Simon, head of policy & communications at Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

Paul Simon from Suffolk Chamber of Commerce - Credit: Suffolk Chamber of Commerce

“The tangible benefits of the Kickstart scheme to businesses and the young people involved are not just of academic interest to us.

“Suffolk Chamber is proud to have offered a six-month placement – now extended – to Muhammod Miah, a young man from Ipswich. We are very pleased with his contributions and hope that the experiences he has gained will stand him in good stead for the rest of his career.”

The scheme has been extended to March this year.