Caerphilly-based business start-up hub Welsh ICE has helped more than 70 businesses create more than 200 job placements as part of a government scheme.
The UK Government’s Kickstart scheme aims to support businesses with funded six-month work placements, giving paid work experience for young people who are not in education or training.
Welsh ICE, which is based on Caerphilly Business Park and is home to more than 350 businesses, has been chosen as a gateway in which businesses, regardless of whether they’re a member of Welsh ICE or not, can apply for the scheme.
It has been able to create 213 job placements, ranging from admin and care worker support, to social media and marketing positions.
PlayWorks, a not-for-profit company that runs childcare clubs across south Wales – including nine in Caerphilly County Borough – is one of the companies to have benefitted from the Kickstart scheme.
The company, which has remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic to provide support to key workers, has secured 32 job placements through the scheme.
Sarah Gardner, Senior Childcare Development Manager at PlayWorks, said: “We’ve created a number of roles through the scheme including admin and nursery assistants. During the pandemic, we were able to remain open to offer care for children of frontline workers, and as Wales starts to open back up, we are going to need the support of these new staff members.
“The process was really straight forward and we are aiming to make most, if not all of the positions permanent after the six-month placement.”
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Keiran Russell, who is overseeing the Kickstart Scheme for Welsh ICE, said: “Paid work placements are often the gateway to continued employment and there’s no substitute for hands-on experience in the workplace.
“It’s a great way to support smaller businesses that are stuck in the ‘chicken and egg’ situation of needing support to generate more revenue, but needing the revenue to afford the support.
“I know that many of our employers that are using the scheme aim to turn their placements into permanent positions, so it really is a win-win.”
Based at Caerphilly Business Park, Welsh ICE is one of five regional enterprise hubs across Wales, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. The hubs will see over £4m invested to provide supportive spaces and mentoring for new and growing businesses, with the ICE Campus supporting the South East Wales Valleys region.
For more information about the scheme or how to apply, Mr Russell can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 029 20 140040
Caerphilly Observer is a member of Welsh ICE and is based at its campus on Caerphilly Business Park.
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