Chalkwell Coach Hire has successfully bid for funding through the government’s Kickstart scheme. The Sittingbourne operator will take on seven young people through Kickstart, which serves to get into work those that are aged between 16 and 24 and whom would otherwise be unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Those that join Chalkwell will carry out roles that include trainee driver, cleaner, trainee technician and marketing graduate. Trainee drivers will be instructed by an outside training company using one of Chalkwell’s vehicles.The Kickstart scheme has a minimum requirement for employers to take on 30 people, but Chalkwell has worked with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, which has acted as a Kickstart ‘gateway’ and aggregated the needs of many smaller employers in the county.Says Chalkwell Managing Director Roland Eglinton: “There are some great young people in the community who have seen their job prospects reduce due to the pandemic and rising unemployment.“By working with the Kickstart scheme, we intend to give these people meaningful experience and the prospect of training and future employment with us. I encourage other employers to look at the scheme, and to work with local bodies if they need to.”Kickstart covers the wages for each placement at the national minimum wage rate for 25 hours per week over a six-month duration. It also covers National Insurance and pension contributions. The employer is able to claim £1,500 per person to help with setup and training expenses.An employer may spread the start date of job placements until the end of December under Kickstart.