A Northam charity is creating 30 jobs as part of the Government’s flagship Kickstart scheme to help get local young people back into work.

The Northam Care Trust has been awarded a grant by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to assist people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit back into employment.

The £2 billion DWP scheme will see young people being offered six-month work placements, with wages for a minimum of 25 hours per week being fully paid by the Government.

Employers will be able to top up this wage themselves and they will also be paid £1,500 to set up support and training for those on the scheme.  The Northam Care Trust supports people with learning and physical disabilities, autism, older people, people with dementia and people struggling with mental health problems.

The charity currently employs more than 170 staff and has been growing its offering of residential care, supported living, domiciliary care, day services and community projects.

Dr Len Lofts, the CEO of Northam Care Trust, said: “We are excited about the opportunities Kickstart will provide to young people in the local area looking for work during Covid-19.

“We are keen to continue growing and investing in our own workforce and help young people at risk of long-term unemployment to start a career in social care.

“The roles offered will be in our direct services and in our central support team so we can offer a variety of jobs, including an IT assistant and social media and marketing assistant.”

Sahara Stockwell, an employer adviser at Jobcentre Plus based in Bideford, added: “Kickstart is a great opportunity for employers to recruit young jobseekers and it’s great to see that The Northam Care Trust is utilising the scheme.

“We look forward to helping the charity find the right people for their jobs in our community while also supporting suitable applicants to explore a career in the care sector.”

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP also commented, saying: “It’s fantastic to see the Northam Care Trust become a Kickstart employer, giving young jobseekers in North Devon a chance to get on the jobs ladder.

“Successful applicants will gain vital work experience, build a network of contacts and learn the value of earning a wage for themselves.

“Businesses across every sector, including vital charities like this trust are getting involved and taking up the chance to nurture and support the next generation of workers, with the added benefit that all Kickstart placements are fully-funded by the government for the first six months.”