18 Richmondshire young people found work through kickstart scheme

Beki Stevenson and Leigha Pollitt from Berber Leather.

A scheme to help young unemployed people in Richmondshire into work has already helped 18 find placements.

The district council has been a Kickstart Gateway for the last 12 months supporting 14 businesses to fill 18 placements so far.

The government scheme provides funding to create new job placements for young people, aged between 16 and 24, who are on universal credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

It supports businesses to take on placements for six months with £1,500 initial funding and funding to cover wages and national insurance up to 25 hours per week.

The district council became a ‘gateway’ to help smaller businesses access the funding.

The Richmondshire placements have included a graphic designer, barista, IT support administrator and retail assistant, as well as music production and sound creative jobs – and some of the businesses have supported their placements to gain permanent employment either within their own business or elsewhere.

“The response to the scheme from Richmondshire businesses has been amazing,” said Sue White, business and community manager.

“They have offered extra training and support to young people to help build their confidence and access long term employment.

“We are so pleased we have been able to support so many of our businesses through the scheme and the success is clear to see.”

Beki Stevenson, from Berber Leather, which specialises in handmade leather products from Morocco, employed Leigha Pollitt as a sales and marketing assistant as part of the scheme.

The company has now employed her on a permanent basis.

“The kickstart placement helped to build my confidence and develop further skills,” said Leigha.

“I really enjoy working for Berber Leather as my role is so varied.

“It includes social media marketing, managing the shop and even designing the shop window displays.”

Richmond based IT services and software solutions company, Thecitysecret, was keen to use the Kickstart scheme as a way to promote careers in IT and help young people progress within the industry.

During the six months placement it provided on the job training as well as encouragement, support and funding to complete recognised qualifications. The young person has now been offered a permanent position within the business.

The Period House Store in Richmond – a family run businesses selling quality home fixtures and fittings – supported a sales and administration post, which led to further work after the placement was completed.  The business is now supporting him to pursue a career in accountancy.

Catherine Stoker, founder of The Independent Education Consultants Ltd, which offers an education advice service, helped her young person secure permanent employment as an Administrations Manager.  The business provided extra training and supported her with interview techniques and built her confidence.

The scheme closes on March 31, 2022 and there are a number of businesses with placements still available.

For more information on available placements can be found at https://www.gov.uk/find-a-job.