GREATER Manchester Chamber of Commerce has secured its first placement for a young person under the government’s Kickstart Scheme in Bolton.

The chamber is an approved gateway for the Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to create new job placements for young people who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Bolton-based firm Pearl Window Systems have taken on their first trainee production operative under the scheme.

Jeff Walsh, managing director and owner of Pearl Windows, said: “Pearl has a long history of employing people of all ages and in particular young people from the community.

"In fact, last year alone, we increased our headcount by just over 20 per cent, which was incredible for us.

“The pandemic has been tough for lots of people, not least young adults and so when we learned about Kickstart giving us the opportunity to take even more youngsters on then we jumped at the chance to be involved.

“We start our first two placements this week and our HR Manager tells me they are amongst the best young people he has seen in a while.

“We have big plans for the continued growth of the business, and we are planning on at least another 10 Kickstart placements this year to help us with this.”

Diane Elebert-Morgan, Kickstart Scheme Manager at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:“The chamber is very proud to be part of the Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to create job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

“During these difficult economic times, young people are particularly at risk of unemployment and Kickstart provides that extra support to help them gain valuable experience and training.

“Employers of all sizes can apply for funding and the chamber can help you access the Kickstart talent pool whether you need to recruit just one person or a whole group of people.”