How firms can get funding to help Hartlepool jobseekers into work

Businesses in Hartlepool are being urged to take advantage of Government’s Kickstart Scheme – and offer young people the chance of a job - before it closes.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 4:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 5:39 pm

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen made the appeal after figures emerged showing that the scheme has helped to create 745 new roles in the area.

The scheme is a £2bn Government fund aimed at creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality six-month work placements to those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Applications are due to come to an end on December 17 and the Mayor has called on bosses to seek advice from Tees Valley Business a out signing up.

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Ashley Kerry, right, with J & B Recycling colleague Craig Flounders.

One person to benefit is Ashley Kerry, 19, from Hartlepool, who is now pleased to be working with the town’s J&B Recycling.

He said: “I was keen to work as soon as I left college, but I couldn’t find a job. Because of lockdown, it meant I didn’t really leave the house.

“It wouldn’t have occurred to me to apply for a job in waste management, but this is a great entry level job, and it seems there are good opportunities to develop within the company.

“I would definitely recommend the Kickstart Scheme. It’s a great way to get work experience and hopefully it will lead to a permanent job for me in the future."

Vicki Jackson-Smith

Vikki Jackson-Smith, director at J&B Recycling, said: “Initially we got involved with the Kickstart Scheme more as a community engagement project, but it’s a great opportunity to identify and attract fresh, young talent.

"Having someone work alongside us for six months enables to see how they work, and them the opportunity to see what it is like to work for us.”

Mr Houchen said: “The Kickstart scheme has helped hundreds of young people find stability with good-quality, well-paid jobs so that they can get some money in their back pockets as well as experience the world of work.

“I’d call on any local business looking to open up new positions to get in touch before time runs out.”

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