Walsall Council’s ‘Walsall Works’ team are proud to be a Gateway organisation for the new Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) Kickstart scheme. A £2 billion fund was announced by government in November 2020 for the creation of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements for young people aged 16 to 24 who are claiming a Universal Credit benefit and are at risk of long term unemployment.
Walsall Works set aspirations to create 150 job placements for these young people, and this target was exceeded within weeks of the launch as a result of pledges from a local network of employers who are working hard with the DWP to turn these pledges into a reality for the young people of our borough.
The first 26 placements were advertised in early February and hundreds of emails from interested applicants were received. From these, 125 successful applicant CV’s have been considered for the placements managed by the Walsall Works Gateway and these are now with employers for interview. A second round of 51 placements is anticipated to become available in March which is well ahead of we attaining our 150 placements goal by the end of the year.
Our first placement opportunity success is a local lad Imran who joins Choice Finance Mortgages and Financial services Ltd as a Trainee Mortgage Processor on 8th March.
Operations Manager, Rachel Heyhoe of Choice Finance Mortgages and Financial services Ltd said:
“We have recently taken part in Walsall councils Kickstart scheme. This is a fantastic opportunity that gives the younger generation at least 6 months’ worth of experience which can then help in future employment. We felt that as a small business that operates greatly in the local community we could offer someone a chance to experience what working in a mortgage brokers is like, Learning new skills and knowledge that would give them a greater chance of employment once the 6 months has finished. The process was relatively simple and every question I had was answered quickly.”
With so many interviews underway, it won’t be long before many more young people secure placements with companies such as Keyboard Specialist Ltd, Calderfields Hotel, Golf & Country Club and Transaxle Ltd to name but a few of the Walsall businesses currently providing Kickstart placement opportunities.
Despite the current national lockdown restrictions continuing to effect certain sectors of economy, many businesses are still operating as normal with those in key sectors seeing greater demands for their products and services. Pledges have been received from a wide range of sectors including:
Deputy Leader of Walsall Council, Cllr Adrian Andrew said:
“Kickstart compliments the very successful Walsall Works apprenticeship programme we established some years ago to support young people and tackle youth unemployment. In Walsall, we know the value of investing in our young people. We’ve seen the difference it makes to their lives and the benefit it brings to the economic health of the borough. It’s heartening to see so many local businesses coming forward to participate in Kickstart in Walsall. I’d like to thank them for their support.”
Kickstart is a great way for your businesses to provide paid employment, skills development, experience and training for young people who take on a Kickstart placement through this fully funded scheme that reimburses all salary, national insurance contributions and minimum pension contributions for 25 hours a week over a six month placement.
If you are able to offer a six month placement in your business to a young unemployed person from Walsall, then please register with us at firstname.lastname@example.org