BARNSLEY Council has received an award from the Department of Work and Pensions for its involvement in the government’s Kickstart scheme.

To support young people at risk of falling into long-term unemployment, the council and Berneslai Homes took part in the scheme to provide six-month paid placements.

In that time, 64 young people have benefited from the programme, and 43 qualifications have been achieved.

The council has supported 73 per cent of its placements into paid employment or an apprenticeship by the end of the scheme.

Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, said: “The Kickstart programme provided an incredible opportunity to support young people to get their foot on the employment ladder.

“We were thrilled that the council and Berneslai Homes could extend the initial government-funded six-month placements so that our young people could experience a full year of real-world experience in working life.”

Sarah Norman, chief executive of Barnsley Council, added: “Achieving this award has provided a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our placements and their contribution to delivering excellent services to the people of Barnsley.

“We’re proud to see how they’ve developed a range of personal and professional skills and have finished the experience well-prepared to enter the wider world of work.”