kickstart scheme

The government’s Kickstart scheme has provided young people from the West Midlands with full-time jobs supporting the construction of HS2

The Kickstart scheme launched in September 2020 to support young people whose employment prospects were adversely affected by Covid-19.

It provides those aged 16-24, and in receipt of Universal Credit, with the opportunity to secure a paid work placement.

HS2’s construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI has also pledged that it would provide 30 young people with a six-month paid placement, the first of which to be recruited have gone on to secure full-time jobs with BBV on HS2.

‘A life-long career opportunity’

Julie Venn-Morton, HS2’s skills manager for the West Midlands said: “We’ve already committed to creating 2,000 apprenticeships and this is a further sign of the employment boost that HS2 is creating, especially for young people.

“We hope that everyone who successfully completes their paid work trial will go onto secure not just a job, but a life-long career opportunity.”

‘If you’d have told me growing up that I’d be working in construction I really wouldn’t have believed it’

24-year-old Amanda from Solihull, who has signed a new employment contract with HS2 as a performance and reporting analyst said: “If you’d have told me growing up that I’d be working in construction I really wouldn’t have believed it, but that’s because I had no idea about the variety of jobs that are needed to help deliver HS2.

“I’m a detail person, so an analytical role really suits me, and I can see myself developing a career from this opportunity.”

‘Not an opportunity to be missed’

Shilpi Akbar, head of stakeholders and communities at Balfour Beatty VINCI said: “At Balfour Beatty VINCI, providing opportunities for young people across the region is one of our absolute priorities.

“We want everyone – particularly those who are currently unemployed – to enjoy the wide range of opportunities available through the construction of HS2.

“Through the Kickstart scheme, young people will not only develop and hone the skills required to thrive in their future careers but will see the substantial benefit of their work enjoyed for years to come.

“As the first of our Kickstart placements settle happily into their permanent roles, it is clearly not an opportunity to be missed.”

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