A YOUNG Dudley woman has started work as a trainee bench joiner after completing a placement through the government’s Kickstart Scheme.

Charly Hamer is one of hundreds of young people aged 16 to 24 across the Dudley borough to have undergone the six-month training scheme, aimed at helping people to gain the confidence and skills needed to join the workforce.

She was supported by the local authority as she undertook the programme with JCM Fine Joinery in Halesowen and the company has now offered her a permanent role.

Charly said: "I feel so grateful for the opportunity that JCM gave me to do Kickstart with them and I’m incredibly excited about being offered a permanent position.

"Dudley Council supported me and JCM all the way through and it’s something I’d recommend other young people to take up if they can.

"There are times where I was really challenged, but I have been really well supported by new team and it feels like I’ve found the right place to further my career."

The Kickstart Scheme was launched in November 2020 under the Government’s Plan for Jobs to create new, fully subsidised new jobs for young people across the country.

Anyone aged 16 to 24, who was claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment was eligible. Each person was interviewed for their suitability against the employer’s job description and appointed to the post for six months.

Dudley Council was approved by the Department for Work and Pensions to act as a gateway for employers across the borough, who were offering job placements through the Kickstart Scheme, and it has provided wraparound support to applicants and employers throughout the process.

Councillor Simon Phipps, the council's cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: "The Kickstart Scheme has helped thousands of young people in the region to get into the workforce, while providing businesses with valuable prospective employees.

"A training and development grant and a reimbursement of salary was made available to employers for each six-month job placement. This covers 100 per cent of national minimum wage for up to 25 hours a week, with employers invited to top the wage up if they require additional hours.

"In Dudley borough, there are hundreds of people who have benefited from the scheme and there are still some unclaimed placements available from businesses in the borough.

"I would like to congratulate Charly on being offered a position with JCM, the company has been exceptional at supporting people through the Kickstart programme and we know Charly has a bright future ahead there."

Nat Macaulay, of JCM Joinery, added: "It’s been a pleasure to see Charly grow in confidence during her Kickstart placement. She has become a very important and valued member of our team and we are delighted to have her now part of our team as a full-time trainee joiner."

The Kickstart Scheme is available to young people until March 31, 2022. For further information contact skills@dudley.gov.uk or go online.