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Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) was an early adopter of the Kickstart youth employment scheme, one of the only councils locally to become a Kickstart Gateway provider with the ability to co-ordinate and place people ourselves.

The scheme was designed to support young people between the ages of 16-24, who were at risk of long-term unemployment, to gain experience and skills and gain valuable life skills through paid work placements in local businesses. It was fully funded by the government and placements were 6 months in length, for 25 hours per week, providing businesses with the funds to support the development of the placement holder, with development and HR support from the Kickstart Gateway.

As well as working with local businesses, many of which were small and medium-sized, to support them to take a placement and providing initial training, the council played a direct role by offering 53 opportunities - 38 within HDC and 15 via Gateway. 29 young people have secured employment with 23 employed by Huntingdonshire District Council and 6 via Gateway.

Two young people were able to get back into education with a further 7 who will be continuing with HDC until their 6 months is completed. The scheme has offered support and helped many young people take a step into careers and opportunities that may well have otherwise been unavailable to them.

Case studies:

Kickstart has given me the opportunity to try something I would never have thought of doing before - Becky, Administrative Assistant


The Kickstart programme has been amazing, teaching me so many new skills and working alongside great staff and volunteers - Freya, Hinchingbrooke Nature Reserve Ranger


The Kickstart programme has given me life skills that will be very useful after COVID - Josh, Hinchingbrooke Nature Reserve Ranger


The District Council has really supported me through my transition from Kickstart to a full time role, which I really appreciate as it has given me an opportunity to have a career rather than find just another job - Naimh, Accounts Payable Assistant Manager