Kickstart Fair hailed a success as scores of young people find work at Leigh Park event

SCORES of young people attended an event to help them find work.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 11:25 am

Charity Community First held a Kickstart Fair at Heart of the Park Community Centre to promote the benefits of Kickstart placements.

The recruitment fair, co-organised with the Department for Work and Pensions, was open to young people aged 16 to 24 years old who are on Universal Credit and looking to gain work experience.

The Kickstart scheme, launched earlier this year as part of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ skills and employment programme, offers six-month jobs for young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

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Charlie Pope. Kickstart Fair, Heart of The Park, Leigh Park Picdture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 220921-10)

The places are funded by the government for 25 hours a week, plus employers get a grant of £1,500 for training and equipment, in order to help young people develop transferable skills and increase their chances of sustained employment.

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Thousands of employers across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors have already signed up.

Nine local companies and organisations attended the fair in Leigh Park last Wednesday to showcase their opportunities.

Kickstart Fair, Heart of The Park, Leigh Park Picdture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 220921-06)

Tim Houghton, chief executive of Community First, said: ‘It was an opportunity for 16 to 24-year-olds who are out of work to meet some employers and hopefully find some local employment opportunities.

‘It was a really great morning, we helped a number of young people and we had a range of employers from charities to care sector to logistics plus other work, and also some fantastic volunteer vacancies too.

‘Plus there was a wrap around support service offered as well.’

Employers included: Adviser Business Solutions, Bourne Leisure, Active8 Minds After School Club, Southern Domestic Abuse Services, The Life College, Parkdean Resorts, Norse South East, Passionate About Care and Solent Youth New Futures.

National Citizen Service was also providing support for CVs, cover letters and applications.

Community First offers ongoing careers guidance at its Havant Skills & Employment Hub, which is open every Thursday from 10am until midday 12pm at Heart of the Park.

For more go to, or call 0300 500 8085, alternatively email [email protected]

The News recently employed its first Kickstart placement, employing recent graduate and aspiring reporter Sophie Murray to work on the business desk.