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Hundreds of work placements for 16-24 year olds created through 'Kickstart' scheme

Hundreds of work placements have been created for young people in Tower Hamlets aged 16-24 who have been hard-hit by the impact of covid-19, as part of an employment scheme to boost post-pandemic economic growth.

A total of 573 placements funded by the Department for Work and Pensions have been created through ‘Kickstart’ - a new covid-19 recovery programme for which Tower Hamlets Council is acting as a local gateway organisation.

Under the programme, young people aged 16-24 and in receipt of Universal Credit are being encouraged to apply for the new 6-month placements which will be paid at the National Minimum Wage – with employers encouraged by Tower Hamlets Council to top up the salary where they can.

As well as giving those young people a chance to develop new skills, gain new experiences and show what they have to offer, it is hoped that many of the placements will lead into permanent full-time roles and apprenticeships.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We know that our young people have been hit hardest by the economic impact of covid-19, so the news of 573 placements secured for our residents  - which is one of the highest numbers secured by any local authority in the country - is very welcome indeed and testament to the hard work of our employment and skills team. 

“For many of our 16-24 year olds, this scheme will be about getting their careers back on track and for others it’s all about getting on the first rung of their career ladder.

“Whatever their back story, the Kickstart scheme will provide the opportunity for young people to develop new skills and acquire new experiences in a working environment which is tailored to their interests and career aspirations right here in Tower Hamlets.”

Roles in IT, finance, graphic design, architecture, property management - all the way through to roles in marketing, hospitality and even leather craft are just some of the placements on offer for young people.

In addition to the 573 placements secured by Tower Hamlets, the council has submitted a further 153 placements for approval to the Department for Work and Pensions.

The council is also now preparing to take on its own Kickstart placements, which will pay the London Living Wage.

Cllr Motin Uz-Zaman, Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth, said: “Covid-19 has hit young people in Tower Hamlets hard and many have been left feeling anxious around what they can do about getting into work, but this scheme is a perfect opportunity for our young people to get a foot in the door of a company, learn on the job and show what they can do.

“As the scheme is funded through the DWP it is a win-win for businesses too, as it gives them time to get their business back on track, assess the talent acquired through the Kickstart scheme and decide then on making the job placement permanent.  

“Given how extremely talented and hard-working our young people in Tower Hamlets are, I’m convinced that the employers involved in the programme will not want to see the placements come to an end. 

“Tower Hamlets’ Supported Employment Team continues to work closely with employers and with our co-located Job Centre Plus Youth Hub in order to create and fill the placements”

Anyone interested in applying for a placement can do so talking to their JCP advisor or by contacting workpath@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 5000

If you are a business interested in taking on a Kickstart placement, email: kickstart@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Posted on Friday 12th March 2021