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Mayor’s Final Call to Young People as Kickstart Deadline Draws Close

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (17 February) urged unemployed young people not to miss out on securing a paid job placement under Government’s Kickstart scheme, with 151 positions currently being advertised on TeesValley.Jobs.

People looking to apply for a job under the scheme will need to be referred via Jobcentre Plus by Tuesday 1 March, with a view to being in position by 31 March.

The Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority acted as a gateway for businesses in the region who wanted to apply for the Government funding, helping a total of 464 local people to date into work at 130 businesses.

The scheme is a £2billion 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.

One person to be helped into employment was Paul McGee, 22, from Billingham. He got a work placement as a Support Worker at Advice at Hart, which offers benefits advice and support for people in the Hartlepool area, before being offered a full-time post.

He said: “I decided to apply for a role through the scheme as I was previously unemployed and there weren’t many jobs available to apply for locally.

“Advice at Hart took me on as a Support Worker and trained me up in the role over the six months of the scheme. It meant I could get experience in a workplace I was interested in. I learned a lot of I.T. and administration skills that I didn’t have before and enjoyed speaking with clients and helping them with problem solving.

“I started the position with little knowledge of how I could personally make a difference to people’s lives within our community and now I have confidence in this.  Training and guidance from my manager have been helpful and I feel that I am thriving in any task given to me.  I have found a vocation that I enjoy and had not considered or understood before starting this job. I hope that my role continues and that this brings me more opportunities for future development.”

Mayor Houchen said: “Time’s running out for young people to take advantage of these Kickstart roles that are being created at varied and exciting businesses and organisations across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“There really is something for everyone up for grabs, with hands-on roles such as welder fabricator, scaffolder and front of house staff as well as positions in web development, business development, as an artist assistant and many more. As Paul has found out, these can be a brilliant stepping stone to a good-quality, well-paid career right here.

“To help the young people who were really hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic,  we’ve also put our money where our mouth is and created a number of positions within our organisation too, in IT, careers, data and intelligence and business support.

“We’ve helped drive forward these opportunities but now it’s up to our young people to grab them with both hands to put money in their pockets and stay local but go far.”

For more information on the roles available via the Kickstart scheme, visit TeesValley.jobs