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As one of 59 organisations utilising government funding to create job placements for 16-24 year olds across England and Wales, The Community Housing Group is proud to be working with its first eight members of the Kickstart Scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme, led by Clarion Housing Group, has secured £6m in funding to create 800 Kickstart placements across nearly 60 organisations, where the government pays 100% of the national minimum wage for six months.

Three of the eight young people from the local area are currently working within Oakleaf Commercial Services’ Trades Team (part of The Community Housing Group), learning skills that can help them secure long-term paid employment in the future.

As a way to ensure the Kickstart members have the opportunity to keep using the skills they learn during their placement, The Community Housing Group and the UK’s largest builders’ merchants, Travis Perkins have purchased tool kits worth £100 for each member to use and keep after their 6 months with Oakleaf.

Damion Rothner, Midlands Regional Director, Travis Perkins, said: It’s important we recognise the need to give young people the skills and experience to secure long-term employment. It’s great we’re able to support The Community Housing Group’s Kickstart members and help give them the tools they can use now and in the future”.

The other five people placed with the Kidderminster based social housing provider are working in different departments, including care, grounds services, telecare and human resources. Each member has received a laptop to work from and complete online learning to gain an Employability Skills qualification, as well as either uniform or vouchers to purchase appropriate work clothing.

Matt Cooney, Group Chief Executive, The Community Housing Group, said: “We recognise the devastating impact Covid-19 is having on young people with unemployment.  As one of the largest employers in the Wyre Forest and a social landlord with almost 6000 homes across the district, we’re delighted to play our part in Kickstart and providing job placement opportunities for young people in Wyre Forest”.