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Community brings new employment opportunities to the local area

South Hams businesses win government grant to bring more apprenticeships to the local area

Local businesses have joined forces to ensure their eligibility for a government grant, facilitating them in providing apprenticeships and career enhancing learning opportunities for those aged 16-24 in the South Hams area.

The Kick Start Employer Scheme was announced in the summer of 2020, providing funding to businesses able to offer work placements for young people who are either claiming Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment. 

While the scheme provides funding for the apprentice salaries and National Insurance contributions during their six-month placement, businesses must deliver a suitable and supportive working environment with learning opportunities that will enhance the candidate’s job prospects. However, initially it required the applicant employer to accommodate a minimum of 30 apprentices, to be eligible. 

James Spencer, Vice Chair of Kingsbridge & Salcombe Chamber of Commerce and Managing Director of Pebbles: “The past 12 months have been challenging for everyone, but arguably none more so than those seeking to enter the job market for the first time. For young people, the last year has been devastating to their career prospects, and as a community it is vital that we pull together to help create opportunities for those in the local area to thrive moving forward. The South Hams is well known for its thriving entrepreneurial spirit, with many successful and exciting small and medium sized businesses. By coming together, we have been able to offer more prospects than ever before, and at a time when it is very much needed.”

With few businesses in the South Hams able to support that volume of learning opportunity on their own, it was decided that strength in numbers was the solution. So, the Kingsbridge Salcombe Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Devon Chamber of Commerce and worked to bring local businesses together to generate enough employment opportunities between businesses to create a collective application. 

After a combined effort the total of 30 was reached, including four businesses from the Kingsbridge, Salcombe and Modbury area and more that have yet to complete the application process. Together the two Chambers of Commerce have created viable learning and working programmes to provide meaningful employment opportunities for young people. Companies involved include: Pebbles of Salcombe, Ed & Dale Design, Aspidistra Software and Jinja Finance. Interested parties should contact them directly to check eligibility for the roles.


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