Surge in Liverpool city region Kickstart vacancies

Jobcentre Plus in Merseyside said a growing number of employers were joining the Kickstart scheme which offers paid work placements to young people aged 18 to 24. Tony McDonough reports

Wirral Chamber
Kickstart employers and employees at Wirral Chamber of Commerce


Companies and organisations across the Liverpool city region are contributing to a rapid growth in the number of vacancies under the Government’s Kickstart scheme.

According to Jobcentre Plus in Merseyside, hundreds of young people having started work through the scheme and “many more” vacancies available are still to be filled. Wirral Chamber alone has created around 500 Kickstart roles.

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.

Jobcentre Plus is helping young adults into work via its Youth Hubs and the Kickstart.Young people are now required to attend their appointments face to face but can choose to be seen in a Jobcentres or at a Youth Hub. Its largest Youth Hub is based in Merseyside Youth Association on Hanover Street in Liverpool city centre. Click here for a full list of Youth Hubs.

Gemma Batchelor, senior relationship manager for Jobcentre Plus Merseyside, told LBN: “The Kickstart Scheme is going from strength to strength with hundreds of young people having started work through the scheme and many more vacancies available still to be filled.  

“Other gateway organisations such as Jayne Moore Media are regularly interviewing in our jobcentres to fill more than 200 Kickstart vacancies on behalf of employers including Otterspool Adventure and Costa.  Their vacancies can be viewed at

“More and more high profile employers have committed to the scheme including housing associations, Liverpool University, NHS trusts and football clubs and vacancies are available in all sectors.

“For employers who would like to find out more, we run a weekly employer information session and you can register by e-mailing

Genlab, a manufacturer of industrial ovens, has brought in several youngsters under Kickstart to help meets its delivery deadlines. Phil Crompton, finance directo, said: The scheme has proven to be very straightforward and will be beneficial for both parties.

“We are able to bring new people into the business, who are keen to learn new skills and progress, with initially very little cost. The Kickstarters gain real life work experience and skills, something which is vital in their work progression and invaluable to future employers.”

Latest data shows that of April 8, there were 177,425 people in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, in receipt of Universal Credit – a rise of 1.3% from 175,196 in March.

Liverpool saw the biggest percentage rise in UC claimants, up 1.5% to 62,533; along with  by St Helens, also up 1.5% to 19,006; and Knowsley, also up 1.5% to 19,729; Wirral, up 1.1% to 31,801; Sefton, up 1% to 27,716; and Halton, up 0.8% to 16,633.

As well as support for young people, there are also vacancies which can be accessed through the Jobcentre Plus sector work academy programmes (SWAPs).  As part of this scheme jobseekers take part in vocational training, some work experience and a guaranteed interview.

SWAPs taking place in the next few weeks include:

  • Security roles with G4S as security guards across the DWP office network and also with Cordant Security.
  • Production operatives with Greencore.
  • Care roles for Avalon Care Home and Care at Home.
  • A range of Civil Service roles including Home Office jobs available through Brook Street.

One recent successful SWAP provided training through Civil Engineering Careers and resulted in 20 people starting employment with DT Hughes.

For details about Youth Hubs in Merseyside click here. For more information on current job vacancies click here. If you are an employer looking for assistance to fill vacancies click here. You can follow Jobcentre Plus Merseyside on Twitter @JCPinMerseyside

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