Businesses that employee young people will move into a "new age".

That is the message from the chief executive of the Watford Chamber of Commerce following the success it is experiencing with the Kickstart scheme.

The Government initiative provides training and employment for young adults and helps them kickstart their careers at no cost to their employer. 

Ines Ferreira, a Kickstarter at the Chamber, said: "I studied Music and Live Events Management at Buckinghamshire New University, and then Covid happened. There were no live events, which meant there was no work in my industry. 

"I was on Universal Credit for about two months and battled with unemployment, redundancy and finding my feet as a new graduate. After over a hundred job applications and numerous work coaches, I was encouraged to apply for the Kickstart scheme. Through this, I was introduced to the Watford Chamber of Commerce."

The Chamber's operations director Saffron Johnson initially had reservations about the Kickstart scheme. 

She said: "Taking on young people and navigating how I would manage them, especially now that everyone was working from home, was a worry for me.  

"But I was completely wrong in thinking that. The young people we've spoken to are amazing. Taking them on has been one of the best things that the Chamber has done."

Ines said: "Being a part of the Watford Chamber of Commerce has massively helped me. 

"I have met several senior influential people and have had the opportunity to network with businesses, too.

"I've also been enrolled on a training program with the iSales Academy. This allows me to identify the skills that I need to improve on and those that are my strengths."

Chris Luff, the Chamber's chief executive, echoes the significance of employing young people, both for the businesses and the young people themselves. 

He said: "Businesses should take a chance and be bold by employing young people. It will bring their business to a new age. 

"We have already placed 50 Kickstarters, and the feedback from everyone has been outstanding. We didn't expect people to be so blown away by the Kickstarters, but they constantly amaze us."

Businesses are able to apply and access support by registering on the Chamber's website Or contact Ines Ferreira at to find out more.