New work opportunities are to be made available for unemployed people in Pembrokeshire aged 16 to 24, thanks to the KickStart scheme.
The UK government scheme provides funding to employers to create new six-month job placements for young people at risk of long-term unemployment.
Pembrokeshire County Council has announced that it will support local businesses who want to participate in the scheme by becoming an umbrella body for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and larger organisations who wish to work with a representative for the scheme. The authority can support any sector to prepare and skill local young people to be able to compete in the open labour market for future opportunities. Key sectors include engineering and construction, where the County has an ageing workforce.
PCC will also provide job placements for young people with the local authority and provide additional support through its employability and skills programmes, particularly in infrastructure, social care and education.
Councillor Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said the scheme was an ideal opportunity for the Council to support local economic recovery by taking on the role of both employer and representative.
“The economic uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic mean challenging times lie ahead for all of us,” he said. “Unfortunately young people are likely to be particularly hard hit.”
“Through this scheme, PCC will be looking to directly create employment for our county's young people while at the same time we're determined to do all we can to support Pembrokeshire businesses to offer as many job opportunities as possible.”
KickStart is to be delivered in collaboration with local DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) employer partnership teams.
The scheme is designed to build young people’s skills in the workplace and help them gain experience to improve their chances of finding long-term work.
It comes as recent figures show the number of unemployed young people in Pembrokeshire has doubled in the last six months (12 per cent of young people aged 18-24 years were out of work in August compared with a pre-Covid figure of 6 per cent). This figure is expected to rise as the furlough scheme ends.
The first placements are likely to be available from November.
· To find out more about how to gain a work placement through Kickstart or how Pembrokeshire County Council can support your business to participate in the scheme, please visit our website at: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support/kickstart-scheme and complete the online expression of interest form or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org