The Very Group, operator of online retailers Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, has welcomed 11 new recruits to its customer care, tech bar and colleague experience teams as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme to improve opportunities for young people at risk of long-term unemployment.

The roles, which were open via Job Centre Plus to 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, will provide valuable work experience at Very’s Liverpool-based HQ over the next six months. Very will supplement the ‘Kickstarters’ Government-funded wage, and expects a number of the new recruits to have the opportunity to apply for permanent roles at the end of their placements.

The programme, which began on 26 July, will see the Kickstarters learn the ins and outs of their new roles, alongside a range of skills to support their future employability and set them up for long-term success. This includes an initial assessment of each individual’s requirements, followed by a tailored training schedule to build on areas of strength and develop new capabilities. The Kickstarters will be supported by their line managers, a personal mentor and a buddy from Very.

To deliver the programme, the retailer has partnered with The Prince’s Trust, which will provide the Kickstart colleagues with employability webinars, one-to-one pastoral support and inspirational talks from Prince’s Trust Young Ambassadors, as well as helping them with their next steps post-placement. In addition, The Trust will run training sessions to support Very’s Kickstart mentors, so they can best support the young people on the programme.

As well as paid work experience and tailored training, the Kickstarters will gain access to a raft of Very colleague benefits, such as its colleague discount and use of its on-site fitness and wellbeing facilities, including a gym.

Sarah Willett, chief people officer at The Very Group, said: “We’ve been so impressed by our new Kickstart colleagues’ energy, positivity and willingness to learn during their first couple of weeks. Young people have so much to offer and the right opportunities at this age can make all the difference to their lives and careers. We’re looking forward to seeing them grow into their new roles over the next six months.”

Very plans to welcome further cohorts of Kickstart colleagues to the customer care team in Liverpool and fulfilment team at Skygate, it’s state-of-the-art distribution and returns centre in the East Midlands over the next few months, taking the total number of roles created to around 30.