Success for Kickstart scheme in North Yorkshire – The Northern Echo

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MP for Richmond and Chancellor Rishi Sunak at County Hall in Northallerton with some of the Kickstart participants
A SCHEME designed to open the door to fulfilling careers for young people now has more than 100 North Yorkshire employers on board.
The Kickstart scheme is a national initiative which was introduced by the Chancellor and MP for Richmond, Rishi Sunak, last year.
It was designed to help unemployed people aged 16 to 24 into high-quality jobs and off-set the negative impact of the pandemic on them.
In North Yorkshire, more than 100 employers are now offering hundreds of Kickstart job placements in a wide variety of fields.
They include industries and organisations where opportunities might not have otherwise arisen for young people.
Under the scheme, the Government pays the national minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week during the six-month work placement and employers can top up the wage if they wish.
The Government also pays employers £1,500 to set up support and training for people on a Kickstart placement, help pay for uniforms and meet other set-up costs.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently visited some of North Yorkshire’s Kickstart participants in Northallerton, to speak to them about the scheme.
North Yorkshire County Council has acted as a gateway organisation, allowing employers to apply and access the Kickstart Scheme through the council and putting in place employability support for small businesses and charities.
The council has appointed 83 Kickstart candidates in this way, directly employing 28 of them.
They include Chelsea Mcgranaghan, who is currently working as a business support administrator.
Before receiving her placement, Chelsea was working at Burger King, until her hours were reduced and she needed to find new employment.
She now works part-time for the County Council and studies for a Level 2 Accounting course in her spare time.
Her role involves identifying any potential disruption which could be caused by roadworks or construction projects and supporting planning permission requests.
She said: “I was aware of business support roles, but I didn’t realise how much work goes into being an administrator.
“I thought it was quite a basic role; maybe answering calls or replying to emails, but an administrator can take on a variation of tasks and keeps up with the work going on behind the scenes.
“I’ve gained lots of organisational skills and time management skills in my time working for the County Council.
“Most days I have at least three tasks assigned, so I have to make sure I work out which to do first so that I have enough time in the day to get it all done.
“I’ve also realised I enjoy working with maps, mainly because I have always found them too hard to understand.
“Now I actually really enjoy exploring street maps and finding the right addresses for my daily task.
“Before working here I was working at Burger King, but my hours were cut and I wasn’t able to keep the job with how many hours I was offered.
“I started studying my Level 2 Accounting course and that’s when I got this job.”
Chelsea added: “I would say to anyone thinking of starting a Kickstart placement, to just go for it.”
Another three of the candidates have gained valuable work experience with the Northallerton-based charity, Chopsticks, who also received a visit from Rishi Sunak during his visit to Northallerton.
Chopsticks is a Northallerton-based charity which supports adults with disabilities by providing work-based activities which allow members to display their skills, such making garden products as well as providing social activities.
It has taken on three young people via the Kickstart scheme and has provided one member with forklift truck training and qualification.
Rishi Sunak said: “It’s great to see so many young people in North Yorkshire who might otherwise have been left behind by the impact of the pandemic taking this opportunity to kick start their careers.
“I really enjoyed meeting them, to hear of their enthusiasm for what lies ahead and to speak to employers like Chopsticks and Sam Turners about what the Kickstart scheme can do for them.
“I am grateful to the county council and other gateway organisations for helping to make the process as easy as possible for employers to give young people the start they need and to assist their businesses as the economy bounces back.”
Phil Bramhall, community business manager, said they were keen to take part in the scheme and provide valuable skills to help young people improve their employability, while also recognising the contribution they could make to the charity and its staff.
He said: “We have been very pleased with the way all three Kickstarts have applied themselves, how well they have learned to work with our clients and how willing they are to get involved in a broad range of tasks.
“This scheme has provided us with an opportunity to assess the potential of all three people and help them develop their skills and self-confidence, which will set them up for bright future.”
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