Over 600 Kickstart placements have been delivered across Worcestershire.

The Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have delivered over 600 Kickstart job starts since the programme started in 2020.

The Kickstart programme was launched by the UK Government in 2020 as part of their Plan for Jobs programme, aiming to help people into employment.

The Kickstart schemes focuses on those who are between 16 to 24 years old and on Universal Credit. The scheme aims to get these young people into work for 6 months to provide them with workplace experience and training ready to develop their career.

As well as over 600 placements being delivered, all of those individuals have since been offered additional careers advice to ensure they continue their professional development with some even going onto apprenticeships and full-time employment.

Over 190 local employers got involved to take on these Kickstart placements.

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Worcestershire County Council, said, “It is really heartening to hear about some of the county’s young people finding their way into the world of work because of this scheme.

“The Kickstart Programme was able to give young people across the county a helping hand to steer their career by finding them tailored job placements, and hands on experience. Getting a foot on the career ladder is often the hardest part and can prove extremely frustrating, I’d like to thank Ria and her team for offering such dedicated support and guidance as we moved young people through the process and opened up new opportunities for them.”

Robert Elliott, Director of Business Development and Engagement at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, added: “As a Chamber of Commerce we are committed to supporting businesses to achieve their goals.  At a time when recruitment is so challenging, and skills needs across industry sectors are ever changing,  we are proud to have been involved in Kickstart.  Preparing our future workforce and widening horizons.”

Roger St.Vincent-Pickard, Director of Classic Engine Workshop, said: “As a company we were keen to expand and employ some young people that we could train up with the necessary skills.  Ria and the team guided us through the process so well, and we found two excellent guys at a Job Centre Recruitment Fair.  The Kickstart period allowed us to get to know their experience, strengths and interests, and to give them the skills to be able to contribute to the business in a valuable way.  They did so well that we now employ them both on a permanent contract, and they form an invaluable part of the team.”

The Kickstart scheme has finished, however there are a variety of other careers development programmes which can be assessed still. If you are looking for careers or employment advice and support, please contact the Careers Worcestershire helpline using the details here. Phone 0300 666 3 666 or email careersworcs@worcestershire.gov.uk
For businesses in Worcestershire looking for recruitment support, contact the Worcestershire Growth Hub using the details here. Phone – 01905 677888 or email info@business-central.co.uk

Pictured: Kickstart programme success celebrated at local employability support event.

(L-R, Judy Gibbs, Skills and Investment Manager at Worcestershire County Council and Director of Skills at the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Ria Hale, Kickstart Programme Manager at Worcestershire County Council, Rebecca, Kickstart graduate at Worcestershire County Council, Lauren Ashford, Kickstart Manager at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.)