Huntingdonshire District Council will play a key role locally in the government’s new Kickstart scheme. The scheme has been designed to support young people between the ages of 16-24, who are at risk of long-term unemployment, to gain experience and skills and gain valuable life skills through paid work placements in local businesses.

Placements are fully funded by the government and will last for 6 months. As well as working with local businesses, many of which are small and medium-sized, to support them to take a placement and providing initial training, we will also be playing a direct role by offering 30 additional employment opportunities. We estimate that at least 140 young people will be supported through the Gateway arrangement in the next six months and have already had interest from many local organisations.

Executive Leader of the council, Cllr Ryan Fuller, said: "We have a comprehensive recovery plan for Huntingdonshire that covers both people and places, supporting our towns, villages and residents. Our involvement in this scheme is a key strand of that recovery, being able to offer placements and to help organise placements in other sectors is something we are proud to play a role in."

"It is a key priority for us to help develop the local workforce and offer opportunities for people to develop a wider range of skills, allowing them to become and stay employable. This scheme offers that chance for young people at a time when we need to be supporting them as best we can."

The Kickstart scheme is about providing a platform and empowering young people with an opportunity to grow and bring them closer to long-term employment. The placements for a Kickstart-organised position are 6 months in length, for 25 hours per week, providing businesses with the funds to support the development of the placement holder, with development and HR support from the Kickstart Gateway.

We will be offering a full programme of support for each employer and young person to maximise the opportunity and ensure that those taking part are equipped with employability skills to move closer into permanent work. If you have any questions or queries, please contact kickstart@huntingdonshire.gov.uk.