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Young people to benefit from Kickstart job scheme

West Berkshire Council has submitted an application to Government on behalf of local businesses which could see up to 60 new jobs created for under 25s through the ‘Kickstart’ scheme.

Young people have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 global pandemic, particularly as employers in the retail, leisure and hospitality industries have had to close due to national restrictions. The ‘Kickstart’ scheme offers fully-funded new 6-month job placements for under 25s who are claiming out of work benefits.

In order to apply directly to the Government to take part in the scheme, businesses must offer 30 new roles. Where smaller local businesses cannot offer so many roles, however, the Council acts as a Gateway organisation, to bring together a group of employers and support them to create new roles.

The placement will offer 6-months of high quality paid work experience, and the council has partnered with West Berkshire Training Consortium to offer CV writing, interview and other workplace skills to every candidate, which will maximise their chances of finding long term employment.

The Council itself is taking a lead role by creating 13 internal Kickstart placements across teams such as Planning, Children’s Services, Legal and HR. It will also continue to support as many businesses as possible to utilise the scheme and we look to submit further applications on an ongoing basis.

Councillor Joanne Stewart, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Internal Governance said: “To have our first Kickstart application submitted and to see so many local businesses offering opportunities to young people who have found themselves in hardship is great.

“Never has it been so important to make sure we are supporting our local economy. Acting as an intermediary to ensure as many businesses could benefit from this scheme as possible does just this while also helping young people to achieve their full potential.

“I would ask local business owners who would benefit from creating fully-funded additional work placements under the Kickstart Scheme to get in touch with Sam in our Economic Development team at Sam.Robins2@westberks.gov.uk.”

Robyn Brookes, CEO of the Newbury West Berkshire Economic Development Company, added: “We have found it a very easy process to signpost companies interested in using Kickstart to the team at West Berkshire Council.”

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