Success of the Kickstart program in North Yorkshire

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A program designed to open the door to rewarding careers for young people now has more than 100 employers in North Yorkshire.

The Kickstart program is a national initiative that was introduced by Richmond Chancellor and MP Rishi Sunak last year.

It was designed to help unemployed people aged 16-24 find high-quality jobs and offset the negative impact of the pandemic on them.

In North Yorkshire, over 100 employers now offer hundreds of kickstart courses in a wide variety of fields.

These include industries and organizations where opportunities would not otherwise have presented themselves for young people.

Under this scheme, the government pays the national minimum wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours per week during the six-month internship, and employers can supplement the salary if they wish.

The government is also giving employers £ 1,500 to set up support and training for those on Kickstart internships, help pay for uniforms and cover other set-up costs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently visited some of the North Yorkshire Kickstart participants in Northallerton, to tell them about the program.

North Yorkshire County Council acted as a bridging organization, allowing employers to apply for and access the Kickstart program through counseling and set up employability support for small businesses and organizations charities.

The board appointed 83 Kickstart candidates, employing 28 of them directly.

Among them is Chelsea Mcgranaghan, who currently works as a Business Support Administrator.

Prior to receiving her placement, Chelsea worked at Burger King, until her hours were reduced and she needed to find a new job.

She now works part-time for the General Council and studies for a level 2 accounting course in her spare time.

Its role is to identify any potential disturbance that could be caused by road works or construction projects and to support applications for planning permission.

She said, “I was familiar with business support roles, but I hadn’t done the amount of work it took to be a director.

“I thought it was a pretty basic role; maybe answer calls or emails, but an admin can take on a variety of tasks and keep up with the work in progress behind the scenes.

“I learned a lot of organizational and time management skills while working for the county council.

“Most of the time I have at least three assigned tasks, so I have to make sure I figure out which one to do first so that I have enough time in the day to do everything.

“I also realized that I liked working with maps, mainly because I always found them too difficult to understand.

“Now, I really enjoy exploring the street maps and finding the right addresses for my daily task.

“Before working here, I worked at Burger King, but my hours were reduced and I couldn’t keep the job with the number of 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 who is considering starting a Kickstart placement, to go for it.”

Three other candidates gained valuable work experience with Northallerton-based charity Chopsticks, which was also visited by Rishi Sunak during his visit to Northallerton.

Chopsticks is a Northallerton-based charity that supports adults with disabilities by providing work activities that allow members to show off their skills, such as making gardening products as well as social activities.

She welcomed three young people through the Kickstart device and allowed one member to train and qualify for forklifts.

Rishi Sunak said: “It is great to see so many young people in North Yorkshire who would otherwise have been left behind by the impact of the pandemic seize this opportunity to launch their careers.

“I really enjoyed meeting them, hearing their enthusiasm for what to expect and talking to employers like Chopsticks and Sam Turners about what the Kickstart program can do for them.

“I am grateful to the County Council and other gateway organizations for helping to make the process as easy as possible for employers to give young people the start they need and to help their businesses as the economy is rebounding. ”

Phil Bramhall, community business leader, said they are keen to participate in the program and provide valuable skills to help young people improve their employability, while recognizing the contribution they could make to the association and its staff. .

He said: “We are very happy with the way the three Kickstarts applied, the way they learned to work with our clients and their willingness to get involved in a wide range of tasks.

“This program has allowed us to assess the potential of the three people and help them develop their skills and self-confidence, which will prepare them for a bright future. ”

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