High five! - Oldham youngsters get a Kickstart thanks to First Choice Homes

Date published: 10 May 2021

Housing association First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) has today (Monday) welcomed five young Oldhamers into the organisation as part of its commitment to create local employment opportunities after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new colleagues, all aged 16-24, have joined the organisation under the Government’s new Kickstart scheme, which is designed to help young people on Universal Credit find employment in an over-saturated jobs market.

The new FCHO recruits have been appointed to a variety of roles from Trainee Environmental Technician to Assistant Community Engagement Co-ordinator, and are the first of up to 35 positions FCHO is recruiting for over the next six months.

Jamal Hussain, Trainee Environmental Services Technician, who started today, said: “I’ve been struggling to find work for the past seven months.

"I managed to get a cash in hand job but it just wasn’t the support or structure I was looking for so I am delighted to be offered an opportunity with FCHO.

“It’s so difficult to find work at the moment and so many young people are struggling.

"I think it's taken its toll on a lot of people but I'm really hopeful about my future career and can’t wait to see what this experience at FCHO will bring.”

Donna Cezair, Chief Executive at FCHO, said: “We’re extremely pleased to welcome five of Oldham’s talented young people into roles here at FCHO under the new Kickstart initiative.

“Furlough and job losses are just two of the many challenges the country is facing due to coronavirus, and those people who don’t have as much employment experience are now finding it harder than ever to secure a job.

“The roles are all six-month contracts designed to offer real-life experience and all new colleagues will be paid a real living wage.

"They will also have access to a designated learning mentor and receive employment support throughout the duration from our own in-house employment team, Directions.

“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be welcoming ten more Kickstart recruits and we can’t wait to see the impact they make in the first stage of their employment journeys.”

FCHO’s second Kickstart cohort will join the organisation later this the year.

If you are aged 16-24, on Universal Credit and are interested employment opportunities with Kickstart, speak to a work coach at your local Job Centre who will be able to discuss opportunities with you.

FCHO’s dedicated employment service, Directions, is also there to help tenants into employment, training or volunteering opportunities.

FCHO customers who would benefit from this support can email: directions@fcho.co.uk for support.

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