HUNDREDS of paid work placements are being made available across the district.

The move is part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme, which aims to get people aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit back into employment.

They are given six months’ paid work experience, funded by the Government, to improve their chances of finding a permanent job.

So far, more than 130 employers in the district have signed-up to provide placements through the SkillsHouse Partnership – which offers training and support – and roles are starting to be filled.

More than 700 placements are being offered, covering areas of work ranging from sales and book keeping to gardening and youth work.

Partners include Keighley College, the town’s Project 6 and housing group Incommunities.

Young people interested in applying for a placement should contact the work coach at their local job centre, who will match them with suitable vacancies.

Bradford Council is giving its backing.

Councillor Imran Khan, the portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: "If you are aged 16 to 24 and claiming Universal Credit you should get in touch with your work coach now to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity.

“This is hands-on work experience in real workplaces that could greatly improve your employability skills and long-term employment goals.

“Young people have been particularly hard hit by the economic impact of the pandemic and as Bradford district has the youngest population in the country, it is essential that as a council we do all we can to help young people into work. It is a crucial part of our Covid-19 recovery.

“It is encouraging that many local businesses have already signed-up for the scheme and are offering our young people these valuable opportunities. I would encourage any other employers interested in getting involved to email us on to learn more.”

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies, said: “It’s great to see organisations across Bradford rally together offering over 700 young people a vital opportunity to gain experience in a range of industries, from accounting to community support – importantly boosting their long-term prospects.”