‘KickStart for Dacorum’ launched

The Box Moor Trust (BMT) in partnership with Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors (HHBA), has announced ‘KickStart for Dacorum’ an initiative for local young people not currently in education, employment or training to develop work skills and help them to move into sustained employment.

A serious impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic is its effect on youth unemployment and its economic threat to the local community in Dacorum. With the closure of many retail and entertainment businesses and resulting redundancies, it is becoming apparent that one of the most affected groups are the younger generation, just starting careers. Today’s announcement sets out to help avert a youth employment crisis in Dacorum.

Under the Government ‘Kickstart Scheme’ BMT will offer paid 6-month work experience for a group of qualifying individuals and also act as the local ‘Gateway’ organisation to help smaller local businesses with administration, delivery and training aspects of the scheme.

To qualify, individuals must be aged 16 to 24 years, registered with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), qualify for Universal Credit and be willing and available to work a minimum of 25 hours per week for 6 months.

Individuals will receive 6 months of quality work experience in their chosen role along with training that increases their attractiveness to future employers and long-term employment.

Businesses wishing to offer placements, must commit to employing a young person for a six-month period and provide basic training in job readiness, alongside the training required for their role. Businesses are not permitted to use the KickStart scheme to fill any roles that have been recently made redundant or that would otherwise be listed for permanent employment.

Along with work experience provided by businesses, it is intended that this local initiative will also provide individuals with structured employability skills including:

  • Job readiness training helping with CV writing, interviews and job applications
  • Practical aspects of Health and safety at work including first aid
  • Budgeting and money management skills
  • Basic teamworking
  • Environmental awareness

Local businesses interested in joining the initiative and hosting individuals will receive both administrative and financial support and should register their interest via The Box Moor Trust website: www.boxmoortrust.org.uk

In support of today’s announcement David Kirk, Chair of The Box Moor Trust commented ‘The Trust was established over 400 years ago to protect and manage local grazing and fishing rights for the community. Over the years, the land base has increased, and the Trust has provided many benefits for the Community. In light of the current looming crisis and impact on our local younger generation, this initiative is a natural step for the Trust to offer its support to.’ Kirk goes on to comment: ‘The aim is a minimum of 30 placements, but we hope there will be many more than that given the size of the problem locally. We’ve already had huge enthusiasm from our staff and Trustees to setup this initiative and I’m hoping there will be enough support from our local business community to make it worthwhile.’

Jean McLeish, Chair of Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors commented ‘We are delighted to support this local initiative which we hope will give the next generation of employees access to our local businesses and help their long-term career prospects’. McLeish goes on to explain ‘The Government Kickstart scheme offers great opportunities with funding for both young people and businesses to connect positively. The Box Moor Trust as a local community ‘not-for-profit’ organisation is ideally placed to make the scheme accessible and beneficial for our local community’.

Sir Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead said: “I congratulate the Box Moor Trust and Hemel Hempstead Business Ambassadors on the hard work they have done to be able to launch the ‘KickStart for Dacorum’ initiative. This is great opportunity for young people who are currently not in work and for small businesses who can use this scheme as a ‘Gateway’ to the Government’s KickStart scheme. I would encourage any small business that would like to employ a young person on the Government KickStart scheme to get in touch with them.”

For more information on ‘KickStart for Dacorum’ and for businesses to register their interest please visit: https://www.boxmoortrust.org.uk/kickstart-scheme/ or email the Trust at KickstartforDacorum@Boxmoortrust.org.uk

For more information on the Government Kickstart scheme visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

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