This April ODS, Oxford City Council’s wholly owned company, has welcomed two new starters under the Kickstart scheme. Luke Keys and Mason Debanks, both 24 years old, have joined Highways and Engineering as road workers.
The Kickstart Scheme was launched by the Government in September 2020 and provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.
“We know that the country has faced some difficult times over the last year, with many young people experiencing unemployment and job losses as a result of the pandemic.
“Thanks to the Kickstart Scheme, we’re able to provide some much-needed opportunities for young people in our area. They will gain real-life work experience, and learn new and transferable skills, which we hope will help them secure full-time employment in the future, be it with us, or elsewhere. We welcome fresh blood and new ideas – something a company like ours cannot do without.”
Chris Harvey, Organisational Development and Learning specialist at ODS
ODS currently has six Kickstart vacancies, advertised through the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) that will pay the Oxford Living Wage, which is above the national minimum wage. ODS has received fifteen referrals from the DWP and is selecting suitable candidates for the various roles, including Road workers, Administrators, Countryside Assistants and Project Assistants.
The Kickstart scheme is complementary to ODS’ successful apprenticeship programme, which has been delivered for many years. ODS currently has 10 apprentices who are working toward a variety of qualifications from electricians to construction engineers and arborists. The company is looking to recruit further later in the year.