Wiltshire College & University Centre was delighted to be involved in last week’s Kickstart introductory session, hosted by Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan.
Kickstart is a new Government scheme for people aged 16-24 who are currently in receipt of Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment, helping them get back into paid work.
The session saw representatives from numerous local businesses gather at Chippenham Town Hall to hear from guest speakers including Minister for Employment Mims Davis MP as well as organisations and young people who have benefitted from the Kickstart programme.
Addressing the gathered audience, Michelle Donelan MP said: “The Kickstart scheme is really front and centre of our mission to support young people. Getting that experience on your CV, getting that first shot really can open so many doors.
“I really am grateful that people have taken the time to share their experiences and am hopeful that many more businesses within Wiltshire will take part in the scheme and give young people these vitally important opportunities.”
In her speech, Mims Davis MP said: “Whether it’s a teacher, a mentor, or that first person who employees you, you have got to have someone who believes in you, and you have got to have that chance.
“It is really difficult at the best of times but at the back end of a pandemic, it is even harder so having employers step forward and say ‘I am going to give that young person a chance to be part of my business’ has been brilliant.
“People have really grasped this opportunity to grow their business, take a chance on someone and lean into the local talent.”
The College is thrilled to be involved in the project by offering businesses the opportunity to discover new talent and providing training for young people.
Each Kickstart placement lasts six months, and employers have the opportunity to offer permanent employment after the scheme has ended. On completion of the training, the College will be able to support the trainee with additional training where needed, in agreement with the employer.
Lisa Cuffy, Commercial Development Manager at the College, said: “The Kickstart scheme is a brilliant opportunity to open doors for young people to get into the workplace and the College is thrilled to be involved.
“We work in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions to find the right candidates for businesses and we will assist in an applicant's Kickstart journey from beginning to end, including any additional support or training after the scheme has ended.”
To find out more about the College’s involvement in the Kickstart scheme, click here.