We are providing new work, training, skills and mentoring opportunities for young people in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire.
We're taking on six young people across our Oldham and Sheffield sites under the national Kickstart scheme. Four have recently started and two more are due to follow.
The first participants are Matthew Mills and Abdul Abdallah, both based at our Oldham site, and Richard Weston and Reece Dell, who are located at our Sheffield branch.
Matthew aged 23, is from Alt, Oldham, and attended Waterhead Academy. Abdul, aged 21, lives in Hathershaw, Oldham, and attended Saint Benedict School in Derby when he was younger.
Reece, aged 23, is from Hackenthorpe and attended Westfield School. Richard, aged 21, comes from Beighton and also attended Westfield School.
The Government's national Kickstart scheme provides funding to support placements for 16 to 24-year-olds who are at risk of unemployment but keen to gain experience, skills and an income. We began the Kickstart process towards the end of last year as our activities gradually increased after the lockdown. It was part of a joint submission by various firms through the Business Growth Hub.
Funding support for businesses involved in Kickstart is available to cover the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage for 25 hours per week for up to six months, along with other contributions. Further funding is available for training and support so that participants can get a job in the future. Businesses can take on participants up to the end of December 2021.
Dan Mounsey, our Marketing and Business Development Director, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has been serious and challenging for society in many ways, including for businesses, jobs and the economy. Young people face particular uncertainty and we need to respond in a manageable way. The new Kickstart scheme offers excellent opportunities for young people to develop important work experience and skills.
"We're really looking forward to working with, supporting and mentoring these new participants at our Greater Manchester and Sheffield sites. We're committed to boosting their abilities, knowledge, confidence and prospects in many ways.
"There are all sorts of career roles across HPP from furniture panel manufacturing, factory maintenance, warehousing and logistics to financial accounts, IT, website development, sales and marketing. This is the case throughout the KBB sector. So, it's important to ensure young people realise what our industry can offer and that they can contribute to its future."