Severn Trent sets out ambitious plans to take on 500 young people as part of Government Kickstart Scheme 

Thursday 19th November 2020

Midlands water and waste company Severn Trent has today announced it’s aiming to take on 500 people as part of the Government’s new Kickstart Scheme over the next year.

The scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16- to 24-year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment and runs until the end of 2021.

Liv Garfield, Severn Trent Chief Executive, said: “This is a simply brilliant scheme and, after looking at it, we just knew we could support many, many people who might otherwise be at risk of simply not being able to get back into the workforce.

“There’ll be a whole range of roles we’ll be looking to fill across everything that we do, as well as being able to offer training for a variety of really useful skills at our new Academy in Coventry.

“We’re absolutely certain we’ll find a load of really talented people who, at the very least, will leave us with a range of new skills they might be able to put to use with other employers. We’re also pretty certain we’ll end up with a number of new colleagues who’ll have impressed so much during their placement we absolutely had to take them on full-time.

“Given everything that’s happening at the moment, this is one of the key ways we, as a responsible company, can help make a real difference to our customers and our communities. It’s a real opportunity for us, let alone for the Kickstarters.”

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education said:  “It’s fantastic that Severn Trent is stepping up to help 500 young people across the Midlands gain the skills they need to get ahead. 

“Our pioneering Kickstart Scheme will give young people the chance to gain real life work experience so they can secure a great job, move on to do an apprenticeship or pursue further study. It’s a fantastic example and I’m sure many other companies will be looking to follow their lead.” 

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “Severn Trent joins thousands of employers across the country stepping up to offer young people a vital chance to get on the jobs ladder. It’s great to see Kickstart shows the real possibilities out there for young people once they have that vital step into employment.

“The experience and network of contacts these potentially life changing placements will provide is invaluable, and businesses across every sector must continue to get involved so our next generation of workers can build crucial skills to thrive in meaningful careers.”  

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We all know the pandemic has been particularly difficult for young people and their employment across the West Midlands, which is why the Government’s Kickstart scheme is so important. 

“The scheme is a clear way to help young people into work, but it will only be as successful as the number of companies who pledge to take youngsters on. That is why I am so delighted at Severn Trent’s commitment, which will not only help hundreds of youngsters, but also help to add a new layer of energy and thought to Severn Trent.“The West Midlands Combined Authority will work with Severn Trent to ensure their Kickstarters have access to all the support and training they require.”

The company hopes to take on the 500 new people over the course of the next 12 months, aiming for up to 80 new starters a month, with placements lasting for six months and covering 25 hours a week.