Avara Foods has created a new way for young people to join the business, through the government’s Kickstart employment scheme.

Avara is launching its participation at the company’s biggest plant, in Hereford.

The Kickstart scheme is a government-supported placement programme helping 16-24-year-olds who’ve been out of work, get back on the job ladder.

It was launched against the backdrop of rising unemployment during Covid-19, which has disproportionately affected young people, with many of those working in sectors hit especially hard by the pandemic.

The scheme works in partnership with local Job Centres, which identify young people on the Universal Credit programme and refer them to Avara, to progress through an assessment process.

Successful candidates are then offered an initial six-month contract that includes additional training, mentoring and further support to develop their employability skills and better prepare them for long-term work, either permanently with Avara or elsewhere.

Avara’s people and communications director, Andrew Brodie, commented:

Youth unemployment is a real concern, made worse by Covid-19 and can result in long-term issues for society; that’s why we’re pleased to offer opportunities under the government’s Kickstart scheme.

“It ties in neatly with our broader commitment as an employer offering a welcoming place to work and opportunities to develop, progress and improve, no matter who you are or what you do,” commented Marcus Billig, site manager at Avara Hereford.

“It also complements the many other career opportunities we already offer young people, through our apprenticeship, degree apprenticeship and graduate programmes.

“I hope that many will see Kickstart as an opportunity to start a long and successful career with us.”