Kickstarters’ commitment and dedication is rewarded.

Date published: 18 October 2021

Commitment and dedication have been rewarded with full-time jobs for two young people from Oldham, first given work placements under a government support scheme at furniture component manufacturer and distributor, Hill’s Panel Products (HPP).

Two of them – Abdul Abdallah and Matthew Mills, both from Oldham - will be based at HPP’s plant in Oldham while a third – Richard Weston, from Beighton, near Sheffield - will be based at the firm’s trade counter and warehouse in the city.

All three started work placements with HPP under the government’s Kickstarter scheme, which provides funding to support placements for 16 to 24-year-olds at risk of long-term unemployment but keen to gain experience, skills and an income.

Dan Mounsey, HPP’s Marketing and Business Development Director, said: “This is three solid investments in youth.

“We were impressed by the commitment and dedication shown by Abdul, Matthew and Richard. We’ve seen them develop with the experience we’ve been able to give them to the point that we wanted to offer them jobs.”

Following the success of the latest placements, HPP has now applied to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to take six more young people under the Kickstarter scheme – four at Oldham and two at Sheffield.

And in addition, the firm is exploring possible apprenticeships for its three newest recruits.

Abdul, aged 21 from Hathershaw in Oldham, who is working in one of HPP’s door departments, said: “HPP’s given me something that other jobs haven’t.

"I’m not just a number, I am part of something. It felt like such an achievement when I was told I was being kept on. It’s a step up.

“Kickstarter is a great opportunity for people like me, especially my age. I was looking for jobs but I wasn’t getting any luck and then this opportunity came along and I am grateful for where I am.” 

The company has a history of commitment to skills and training at all levels, and has just enrolled its latest apprentice on a City and Guilds Level 2 and 3 course in maintenance engineering. 

Other activities with young people have included mock interviews for school-leavers, attending regional jobs fairs to raise awareness of furniture industry careers, supporting a state-of-the-art youth centre in Oldham and hosting educational visits to its HQ. 

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