Kickstart for young people facing risk of long-term unemployment in West Northamptonshire

Council and Jobcentre Plus team up to help 16-24 year-olds on universal credit find a job

By Jack Duggan
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 8:00 am

Young people at risk of long-term unemployment in West Northamptonshire are the focus of a partnership between council and government employment support schemes.

West Northamptonshire Council and Jobcentre Plus Northampton delivered an engagement event for the Kickstart Scheme aimed at helping residents who are aged 16 to 24, on universal credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment on Friday, October 15.

The event allowed young people to meet and engage with local employers who are offering roles through the scheme and have interviews.

(L-R) South Northamptonshire MP Dame Andrea Leadsom, Stuart Perry from the Department for Work and Pensions, Sigourney Moore from Jobcentre Plus, Alison Field from the West Northamptonshire Council Job Club, Julia Raven, the council's senior economic growth officer and Louis Devayya Economic, the council's growth officer

Council cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, Lizzy Bowen, said: “We will do all within our power to ensure that West Northamptonshire is a place where everyone can thrive.

“Our economy team is available to support every member of the community, and businesses of all sizes, including people looking to start their own business.

“West Northamptonshire is a place with some very talented people and huge potential. We have a population of more than 400,000, so the future workforce is right here."

Kickstart provides employers with 100 percent of the national minimum wage, or the national living wage depending on the age of the participant, 25 hours per week, for a total of six months.

South Northamptonshire MP Dame Andrea Leadsom launched a job club in the south of the county which was taken over by the former district council and found work for hundreds of people over the last 12 years.

After attending the event, Dame Andrea said: “This event is just another example of the fantastic work West Northamptonshire Council is doing to support the community and grow the economy.

“I am passionate about ensuring residents can access local jobs and want every employer within my constituency to benefit from this free support.

“The Kickstart Scheme is an essential initiative to tackle long-term unemployment in young people and provide essential employability skills to those that need them."

Further funding is available for training and support so young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

The Kickstart Scheme ends in March, so the council is keen to make sure that people in West Northamptonshire make best use of it.

The purpose of this service is to ensure residents can secure appropriate, sustainable jobs within the West Northamptonshire area and enable employers to find highly skilled staff to grow their workforce.

For more information about employment support in West Northamptonshire, visit westnorthants.gov.uk/free-employment-support.

Employers who would like to find out more about the Kickstart scheme should email [email protected]