Latest News | 25 July 2022

Chamber hails success of Kickstart scheme

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East Midlands Chamber has helped more than 160 young people in the region to find long-term employment through its Kickstart Accelerator project.

After supporting more than 900 businesses to create over 2,000 placements as a gateway organisation for the Kickstart Scheme – created by the Government to help 16 to 24-year-olds gain work experience after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions resulted in high youth unemployment – the chamber has continued these partnerships to turn the roles into long-term jobs through the Kickstart Accelerator scheme.

A key strand of the umbrella East Midlands Accelerator, Kickstart Accelerator is part-funded by the Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund, led by the local authority in each region, and delivered by the chamber and its partners.

In Derbyshire, so far there have been 37 new starters in the Derbyshire Dales and 11 in High Peak.

A business that has benefited from the scheme is The Clay Rooms, in Ashbourne.

It allowed the business to keep on 24-year-old Ashbourne resident Minnie Reed when her original Kickstart placement came to an end, and to take on new Kickstarter, 24-year-old Joe Low, from Wirksworth.

Diane Beresford, chamber deputy chief executive and Kickstart lead Diane Beresford said: “Kickstart is a true success story for the chamber.

“Our original Kickstart Scheme alone outperformed other regions by placing over 2,000 individuals.

“We’re now continuing that success in UK Community Renewal Fund areas under our East Midlands Accelerator.

“Participating businesses must commit to employing their Kickstart candidates for at least 12 months, which gives young candidates a significant amount of time to learn and embed the skills needed for a successful career.

“The Kickstart Accelerator has allowed employers to not only recruit new candidates where they might not otherwise have had the means to do so, but also keep on candidates after their original Kickstart Scheme placement.

“It’s another way in which the chamber is supporting those businesses that are doing great work but need more staff to help them get to the next level.”

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