Kirklees Council has supported hundreds of young people into work across Kirklees, through the Kickstart scheme – and paid placements are still available until 1 March.

The government-funded scheme helps businesses provide paid placements for those in danger of long-term unemployment.

To date, the Kickstart scheme has created almost 150,000 opportunities for young people across the UK.  As a Kickstart Gateway, Kirklees Council has worked in partnership with nearly 100 businesses, and is on track to fill 250 Kickstart placements.  This includes 67 internal opportunities created within various council teams and services.

All Kickstart opportunities are six-month paid placements at National Minimum Wage, including pension and National Insurance contributions, and an additional grant per placement to cover any set-up costs and training required.

The scheme is aimed at kickstarting careers.  For around 40 percent of those involved, placements have led on to either full-time employment or further training towards a career.

The council recently surveyed young people who had found placements through the Kickstart scheme’s Kirklees Gateway, and every person interviewed agreed they had gained useful, transferrable skills and felt better prepared for employment.

Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:

“The Kickstart scheme has already helped so many young people find their way into employment, and in many cases has already supported them into permanent positions.  40 percent of Kirklees Kickstart placements are now in permanent roles or further training towards their chosen career, and we expect that number to rise now that lockdowns aren’t such a big consideration for businesses.

“I’d strongly urge young people to make the most of these opportunities.  From creating so many placements in-house, we’ve seen first-hand how they can kickstart careers.”

Isla-Mae Hallisey, participant in the Kickstart scheme, added:

“The support and guidance I received within a short space of time on the Kickstart scheme were amazing, and I couldn’t wish for a better experience. Straight away I was welcomed and made to feel part of the team.

“The best thing about my Kickstart experience was the opportunities I was given to excel in my own work and build my skillset.

“I’ve always wanted a career which allowed me to give back and help others, and I learnt a great level of communication and understanding during my placement.  In terms of my own future career aspirations, I now want to create these kinds of opportunities and guidance for others.”

Following fantastic uptake, the Kickstart scheme closed to business applicants in December 2021.  However, the remaining positions generated by the scheme are still available across Kirklees.

Young people aged between 16 and 24 can access these opportunities through their local JobCentre up until 1 March 2022.  The council will be also holding recruitment events at Brian Jackson House in Huddersfield on 18 February, and at Dewsbury Jobcentre on 22 February, both events running between 10am and 2pm.