Sovereign – which has 60,000 homes across Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire, the West of England and the Isle of Wight – will give the paid training roles to under-25s currently on Universal Credit.
The housing association is part of a 59-member consortium – the Kickstart Housing Partnership – led by Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing. Organisations in the Partnership have secured £6million government funding to create new job placements for 16-24 year olds through the Kickstart programme.
Corinna Grace, Head of Learning Development at Sovereign, said:
“In the quarter August – October the unemployment rate for young people was nearly three times as high as it was for adults. And by July, just under one in three first-time Universal Credit claimants was under 25, up from one in five in March. Young people have been hit hard by this pandemic.
“That’s why we’re taking decisive action to prevent them from getting left behind, offering a wide range of opportunities. Each ‘Kickstarter’ that joins us will have gained the skills and experience they need to secure a permanent role when their six months with us ends.”
Each placement is for 25 hours per week, for 6 months, and pays minimum wage. Opportunities on offer include work with the Sovereign’s Communities team, in recruitment, in housing for older people, marketing and communications, customer experience, administration and sustainability and development.
Sovereign will offer a comprehensive support package for each young person who joins the scheme, including IT kit, laptop and phone, a Kickstart work buddy, and a dedicated Kickstart employment officer among other measures.
Erica Watts, Head of Employment and Training, Sovereign, added:
“Participating in the Kickstart scheme demonstrates our commitment to creating communities where people can succeed. We have the expertise and drive to provide real opportunities for the future.”
The scheme will open for applications in spring, to anyone who meets the requirements, though Sovereign residents are strongly urged to apply.
For those interested in applying, or with further questions, call 0300 5000 926 and ask to be put through to our Employment and Training team or write to [email protected].