East Midlands Chamber and Chesterfield Borough Council join forces to help businesses create jobs for young people via Kickstart scheme

East Midlands Chamber has teamed up with Chesterfield Borough Council to encourage businesses to get more young people into work by taking advantage of the new Kickstart scheme.

The Government programme covers the cost of a six-month work placement for 16 to 24-year-olds who are on Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment.

Employers that want to create at least 30 placements can apply directly to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for a grant to cover the costs, but companies with fewer than 30 roles must apply via recognised gateway organisations, such as the Chamber.

To date, the Chamber has signed up almost 340 businesses and facilitated more than 1,000 potential placements across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. About a third of these are digital and technology roles, with other popular jobs include business and finance, as well as transport and storage.

To engage more businesses to create job opportunities for young people in their communities, and benefit from the additional resources offered by work placement students, the Chamber has collaborated with local authorities and other organisations.

As part of its latest partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council, it will hold a free virtual information session on Monday 7 December for businesses to find out what the scheme involves and giving them the opportunity to join 20 other organisations in the borough of Chesterfield – which together want to create 59 placements – in making applications.

Diane Beresford, deputy chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: “We know young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the huge amount of unemployment it has created, so the Kickstart scheme is an important mechanism for helping them to get the skills they need to prepare for the world of work.

“Businesses that take part will be playing a vital role in their communities by supporting and preparing our future workforce, but there are also many benefits for employers.

“As this is a fully-funded scheme, it allows organisations to trial new roles, and provides relevant training and mentoring to ensure the young person has the most up-to-date skills and knowledge. There is also a relatively risk-free opportunity to identify good-quality apprentices, opening a pathway for both the employer and employee to grow together.

“It’s important that the public and private sector work together, and our partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council is a great example as we want to make sure as many companies as possible take advantage of these opportunities.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, deputy leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, added: “We understand that Covid-19 has affected our communities in a variety of ways, but it has especially impacted on our younger workforce, with the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming out of work benefits nearly doubling since March 2020. We’re delighted to be working with East Midlands Chamber to help support the economy and assist both businesses and workers in mitigating the negative impacts of Covid-19.

“One of the council’s key aims is to ensure that Chesterfield is a thriving borough and the Kickstart scheme will open up much-needed opportunities for young people to develop their skills and careers for the future. There are also many benefits for our local businesses who participate in this scheme during this challenging time. Therefore, we’re encouraging businesses to engage with this fully-funded programme to offer our younger generation vital work roles that will build fundamental skills.

“The information session we are running on Monday 7 December will be a beneficial tool for businesses, helping them to gain further insight into the scheme and the support on offer to them in making applications. We encourage all businesses that are interested to attend and utilise this free resource available to them.”

The £2bn Kickstart scheme was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Plan for Jobs to help young people into work and spur Britain’s post-Covid economic revival.

A quarter of a million people aged under 25 have claimed unemployment benefits since March, while the unemployment rate among young people is far higher than the overall rate of 4.8%, reaching 14.6%.

The Chamber has already held four online information sessions that attracted 250 attendees, many of which are among the 320 businesses that have since registered with the Chamber to recruit for placements. Some of these organisations have multiple vacancies.

Acting on their behalf, the Chamber applies to the DWP for funding, which pays 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week.

Employers can choose to top up this wage and are also eligible for a £1,500 Government grant for training people on a Kickstart placement.

The Chamber started making applications on 1 November. Once they are accepted, young people are referred into the roles via a Jobcentre Plus work coach. Application can be made until December 2021 initially.

Diane added: “The number of businesses that have already booked on to our information sessions shows there’s great appetite out there among businesses to take advantage of these opportunities.

“Businesses receive the full salary cost for six months, but we’re also educating them about the finer details, such as how they must provide employability skills to individuals so they will be well-equipped to land permanent jobs in the future.”

The Kickstart Your Business: Accessing the Kickstart Programme session being run by the Chamber in partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council will be held via Zoom on Monday 7 December from 12pm to 1pm.

It is free for both members and non-members of the Chamber, and open to anyone regardless of whether they are based in the Chesterfield area.

It will feature a welcome by Cllr Amanda Serjeant, presentation by the Chamber’s deputy chief executive Diane Beresford and education and business partnership manager Pieter Eksteen, and a Q&A.

Businesses can sign up to the event here.

Other upcoming online information sessions include:

chamber video export

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Support for Chesterfield SMEs looking to take on talented graduates

Small-to-medium sized enterprises in Chesterfield are being invited to find out more about support available in adding talented graduates to their teams.

RISE is a unique business support initiative focussed on enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow through the employment of graduate talent. Businesses can receive access to free, tailored recruitment, talent matching, training and funding support.

It has been effective in helping SMEs overcome the barriers faced in graduate recruitment and equipping them with the tools and know-how to become successful graduate employers.

Since 2013, RISE has supported more than 350 regionally based SMEs successfully recruit over 450 graduates. Many of those businesses have gone on to report increases in turnover, productivity, innovation and growth as a result.

The enhanced RISE project now provides even more comprehensive business support and business benefits. RISE is delivered through a well-established collaboration of the region’s local authorities, universities and a specialist private sector delivery partner working together to provide the tailored support your business needs.

Sarah Stanley, SME Engagement Manager said: “We currently have an amazing talent pool of 250+ high quality graduates ready and wanting to work for SMEs in Sheffield City Region, including Chesterfield. Our support is fully funded and we help you to scope and advertise your graduate level role, match suitable candidates from our talent pool and provide you with a shortlist for you to interview.

“As well as helping you to find a great graduate(s) we help you make the most of your graduate hire and provide ongoing support at 3 and 6 months into your graduate’s employment. Our RISE Talent Pool is now live!”

RISE has already helped to match businesses in our region with graduate talent. North East Derbyshire-based urban drainage and environmental consultancy, RES Environmental recently employed Keele University graduate James England, after being matched with him through the scheme.

Alan Ayris, Managing Director at RES Environmental said: “Recruitment can be difficult in this sector and there are additional challenges to interviewing and sourcing new graduates because we can’t dig into their past projects and technical skills in the same way that we would with an established engineer. This is where RISE came in and made a huge impact. The RISE team are skilled at matching people to roles and identifying the additional support a business needs.

“RISE helped us pinpoint the wider traits and knowledge-base we’re seeking and supported us to explore these qualities with candidates during interviews. The traditional recruitment methods we employ can feel like a lottery, but the support offered through RISE significantly reduced the risk for us. We now feel better placed to progress our plans to create more graduate roles in the business.”

RISE is delivered in partnership with Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

You can find out more by visiting the RISE website, or by contacting Sarah Stanley via email: sarah@risescr.co.uk 

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Derbyshire County Council offers free careers advice for those who need it

Derbyshire County Council says it is offering free careers advice to anyone who is aged over 19, or anyone who is 18 and not working or in education. They can ask for free advice on:

  • Training courses – including how to get funding
  • Career planning – including help to understand the current labour market, identifying skills, looking at new career paths and routes into employment
  • How to write a CV or update an existing one
  • How to write covering letters that will gain the attention of prospective employers
  • Helpful tips on finding new employment such as making the most of ‘Find a Job’, using social media and exploring the hidden labour market guidance on how to write an application form and relating it to a possible interview

Appointments are either offered on the phone, or by video call. Advice is also available by email or text.

Cabinet Member for Young People, Councillor Alex Dale said: “We can offer advice to those who may have been affected by the changes to the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If you have been made redundant and need help then please get in touch and our friendly and knowledgeable team can help you with your CV, offer advice on training, or suggest a change of career.
“There is government funding earmarked for training and job creation, and our team of career coaches can help you to find out more.”

The team can also offer advice on interview skills, including video interviews and advice on volunteering and work experience opportunities on offer across the county.

You can find out more by visiting the County Council’s website. Find out more about working in Chesterfield here. 

Chesterfield is the first town in the UK to declare itself an Apprentice Town – demonstrating its commitment to growing the future and careers of young people alongside business and the economy by retaining and developing young talent in the town in order to attract more employers to invest here. Find out more about apprenticeships in Chesterfield

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

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