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Posted 16 November 2021

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Jo and Josh.jpg
Jo and Josh.jpg

Kickstart success for local business

Our Kickstary scheme celebrated another success this month, as Messingham Grange in Scunthorpe employed two permanent members of staff.

The scheme provides funding to employers to create six month long placements for people between 16 and 24 years old and currently receiving Universal Credit. The government will fund each placement, paying them national minimum wage for 25 hours a week.

So far we have created 51 opportunities through the scheme, with Messingham Grange being celebrated as our latest success.

Jo Cooke and Josh LeQuelenec began their Kickstart placement in April 2021 and were offered full time employment at the end of this, in recognition of the huge impact they’d made to the business.

After leaving university and finding it difficult to get a job throughout the pandemic, Jo was employed a Greenkeeper through Kickstart. Since then he has been given the skills and training needed to become a permanent member of staff, maintaining the course and advising on fishery matters.

When asked about his journey he said: “I loved my placement and am loving my job even more. I always wanted to work outdoors and there’s so much crossover with my degree so I get to pursue my passion too.

“There’s lots more to green keeping and maintaining a course than most people know, it’s quite a technical and specialist role, and is one I’d really hope to progress in.

“I’ve been given training on machines, using pesticides and more, but I’ve also developed my confidence and that has been just as important for me.

“I work with a great bunch of people and the support I’ve received from them and Ongo has been great. I’d recommend Kickstart to anyone struggling to find a job, it may lead to a career.”

Josh, who works in the maintenance department also champions the scheme. He said: “It’s a lovely environment to work in and I’m really enjoying it. It’s great for local people that businesses are getting involved in Kickstart.

“It has opened the door to lots more opportunities for me and Ongo are helping me progress even more. I’ve now signed up to their Next Level project so I can get my driving licence and work are supporting my development too.”

Jake Aishthorpe, Manager at Messingham Grange commented: “We feel very fortunate as a company that we’ve had excellent candidates who have gone through the process and we’ve been delighted to offer employment to at the end.

“Kickstart aligns with our values to invest and upskill locally so we’re very glad to be part of it and are grateful to Ongo for working with us to make it happen.”

We have a number of vacancies available through the scheme and are working to sign more businesses up.

Clare Sparrow, Kickstart Coordinator here at Ongo said: “We’re delighted to hear how well Kickstart has gone for Jo and Josh, and are thankful to have fantastic local businesses willing to provide opportunities.

“I can’t shout about the scheme enough, it’s completely free of charge for businesses, gets people into work, and for us it doesn’t stop when we place someone in a role. We give support and additional training throughout the placement and when it’s finished.

“If you are a business or individual and have any question at all, please get in touch with us, we’d love to help.”

To find out more about the scheme visit www.gov.uk/kickstart, and to apply for available roles, please contact your Work Coach at the Jobcentre or email clare.sparrow@ongo.co.uk.

Or if you’re a local business and you think you could take on a placement, please get in touch with the team amanda.barker@ongo.co.uk.

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