Chamber helps create 300 Kickstart vacancies

Following the success of Wirral Chamber, St Helens Chamber has helped create more than 300 vacancies for young adults under the Kickstart scheme. Tony McDonough reports

Helen Davies, founder of Easytots


More than 300 vacancies for young people have been created so far under the Government’s Kickstart scheme via St Helens Chamber.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the Kickstart scheme in summer 2020 as part of his Plan for Jobs. It offers fully-funded six-month jobs placements for young people aged 18 to 24 who are in receipt of Universal Credit. It offers either Minimum or National Living Wage.

St Helens Chamber has been working as a gateway organisation for the Kickstart scheme and have seen more than 300 vacancies approved to date. In April LBN reported how Wirral Chamber had helped create 500 vacancies.

Each of the vacancies are exclusively available to young people aged 16-25 who are unemployed and claiming Universal Credit. Working closely with DWP, St Helens Chamber aim to successfully place local young people into these new roles.

Aaron Unsworth, Kickstart co-ordinator at St Helens Chamber, said: “We’re thrilled at how many local businesses have really got behind the Kickstart scheme and created new vacancies to support these young people into work.

“With more than 300 approved vacancies so far, and 42 young people already placed into roles, it’s really encouraging to see this kind of investment from businesses as we move out of the lockdown.”

Businesses taking part in the Kickstart scheme benefit from a range of funding and support, and the young person benefits from a placement for at least six months to help them boost their employability and get valuable experience in the workplace. 

One local business that is already seeing the benefits of the Kickstart scheme is Electrovision. Paul Ledwith, group legal counsel at the firm, said: “I can’t speak highly enough about the scheme, and the support from the chamber was first class.

“As a business we get new staff and the Kickstarters are young and quick to pick up new skills, for the Kickstarter themselves they get a taste of the workplace. 3 of the 5 young people we recruited had never been employed before, so it is giving them a great introduction into what an 8-5 job is really like.”

Another business,  Easytots has used the scheme to add to its warehousing team. Helen Davies, founder of Easytots, said: “Kickstart has enabled us to have a bit of breathing space cashflow-wise while enabling us to grow, but also it’s allowing us to give something back to help these young people who just need bit of support to grow their confidence.”

Aaron added: “Its really encouraging to see how many businesses have pledged vacancies for Kickstarters. It shows that local businesses are investing in St Helens and are keen to invest in the talented young people in our town.

“If any young people are interested in the Kickstart vacancies, they should speak to their Jobcentre Work Coach who will refer them and help them apply for any vacancies. We also have our National Careers Service team who can help young people build their CV ready to apply.”

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