Chatsworth helps to Kickstart young workers' careers with job placements backed by Government scheme
Chatsworth is welcoming a fresh batch of young workers to the estate this summer thanks to a new Government scheme to help people whose career prospects may have been stalled by the pandemic.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create new jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 who are receiving Universal Credit, as part of the national Plan for Jobs launched by the Department of Work and Pensions.
The Devonshire Group, which comprises Chatsworth Bolton Abbey and the wider estate operations, has created 33 six-month placements ranging from gardeners to farmyard and adventure playground assistants, and drystone wallers to a collections assistant and commis chef.
Development coordinator Nathan Fairhead said: “We are proud to be supporting the Kickstart scheme to provide young people in our communities the opportunity to gain valuable work experience.
“We are eager to do what we can to help young people through the extremely challenging context that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for jobseekers. We’re looking forward to welcoming our first Kickstart colleagues to these new roles and equipping them for their future careers.”
The group is one of thousands of employers across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors to have applied for Kickstart funding, which covers the workers’ National Minimum or Living Wage pay, pension and National Insurance contributions for 25 hours a week, plus a grant of £1,500 per job to cover setup costs and support.
As part of the Plan for Jobs, employers must create new high quality employment opportunities that would otherwise not be available.
These can either be entirely new roles or existing roles but additional to the employer’s normal workforce.
Nathan said: “We have identified a variety of exciting opportunities across the Devonshire Group and our management team have been keen to support the scheme.
“Some will be roles that are the same or similar to roles already in place but will be additional to existing numbers. Other posts are entirely new such as placements in sustainability, retail efficiency support and forestry.”
In the months following the start of the pandemic there was a dramatic fall in employment levels for young people aged 16-24, followed by a rise in unemployment. Almost two-thirds of people who have lost jobs in the UK during the pandemic are under 25.
Although that unemployment has now started to come down, the number of young people in employment remains well below pre-pandemic levels – 310,000 fewer were in work in January-March 2021, compared with the same period of 2020.
It is thought that around one in seven young people in the UK are currently unemployed, with fierce competition for a number of vacancies which has also yet to recover to 2019 levels.
Many of the sectors which were hit hardest by the pandemic, such as hospitality and retail, were those where young people frequently take their first steps on the career ladder.
Employers have been encouraged to sign up with the promise of young workers with fresh ideas and energy to help the business grow, while creating wider benefits for their industry’s skills base and the national recovery.
But in May it was reported that of the 200,000 Kickstart jobs that had been approved in England and Wales, the number of youngsters starting work was 20,000, with some employers complained about delays and red tape involved in the much vaunted £2billion system.
Many of the placements across the Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group in Derbyshire and Yorkshire have already been advertised with more to be posted soon.
Successful candidates will be closely supported by their managers and colleagues to ensure they receive relevant ‘on the job’ training and one-to-one support.
They will also be offered employability skills training to be delivered remotely by Buxton & Leek College, which is working in partnership with the Devonshire Group.
Keen to talk up the successes of the initiative, Derbyshire Dales’ Conservative MP Sarah Dines said: “It is brilliant to see the government’s Kickstart scheme being utilised by local businesses and providing unique opportunities for our young people.
“I have been working with government and local employers to encourage local businesses to make use of this scheme.”
She added: “It provides fantastic opportunities for our younger people who are at risk of long-term unemployment and benefits businesses as they train and bring on the next generation of workers.
“I know businesses are grateful for the opportunity this scheme provides and the support they have received during the pandemic. This scheme is another important part of this government’s plan to Build Back Better.”
Candidates can search for live Kickstart placements at all participating local employers via Job Centre Plus, which will then pass on your application.
For more details, go to kickstart.campaign.gov.uk or speak to a Job Centre Plus work coach.