More than 300 jobs created for young people in Suffolk

A meeting between Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Kickstart Scheme participants and Therese Coffey.

A meeting between Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Kickstart Scheme participants and secretary of state for work and pensions Therese Coffey. - Credit: SUFFOLK CHAMBER

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has helped local employers create 300 jobs for young people as part of a government scheme — and there's more to come.

Bosses at the organisation said the Kickstart scheme was a "win-win" as it gets under 25s who are at risk of long-term unemployment into work and allows firms to talent spot for their workforces.

So far, the Chamber has helped get 337 job placements approved for funding, with a further 93 in the pipeline. 

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’ve been associated with the Kickstart Scheme since the summer of last year and have enjoyed purposefully working with the DWP, our partners and the employers to get the Kickstart Scheme in Suffolk off to a flying start."

John Dugmore speaking at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce / EDF Breakfast at Trinity Park

John Dugmore, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive - Credit: DAVID GARRAD

The Chamber has worked as a gateway for Kickstart, allowing smaller Suffolk employers to take advantage of the scheme.

Among the employers are James White Drinks, The Write Impression and Roland Plastics.

Lauren Clarke, a Kickstart participant working at Roland Plastics, a Woodbridge-based manufacturer of bespoke injection moulded plastics, said: “The Kickstart Scheme has allowed me to get a job at a local company and to learn new skills. 

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"The wraparound training being offered will help me to improve my skills with writing a CV and interview techniques.”

Joe Ketteridge, a Kickstart participant working at The Write Impression, a communications and digital marketing agency located in Brantham, said: "As a recent graduate, getting a job was never going to be simple — especially in a pandemic, but TWI and Kickstart has given me that opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier.

"The programme has given my employer the confidence to allow me to focus on training and expand on my skills.

“I think Kickstart has come just at the right time for young people looking for employment and will really help give knowledge and experience to my generation.”

Mr Dugmore added: “The testimonies from Lauren and Joe demonstrate the massive opportunities such placements offer our young people and the chance for Suffolk’s businesses to potentially talent spot their new workforces of the future a true win-win.” 

Creative Arts East is Among the other local organisations acting as a gateway to the scheme and will provide 149 roles across East Anglia throughout 2021.

Natalie Jode, Executive Director at Creative Arts East – Gateway Organisation for Kickstart East Anglia said: “Despite the many challenges facing our creative industries in the past 12 months, the Kickstart East Anglia employers remain committed to ensuring their work contributes to the Covid recovery effort and that, in doing so, the door remains firmly open for the next generation of artists, makers, producers and managers.

"It has been galvanising to see so many organisations from within our region rise to the collective Kickstart challenge on behalf of the young people in their communities and I am looking forward seeing the placements, and the legacy of those placements, in action.”

Nationally the scheme aims to place 250,000 young people in work by the end of 2021.

Secretary of State for DWP and Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey welcomed the news adding: “I encourage more businesses to join our national effort.”