TWENTY young people from across the north west have joined United Utilities on a six month work placement.

The new starters are the first of over 200 that will work at the utility firm over the next 12-months.

The company is taking part in the Government’s new Kickstart scheme for 16-24-year olds who are claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

Customer services and people director, Louise Beardmore, said: “We know the region has some of the highest levels of deprivation in the UK and in the past year life has got even tougher for many."

It's recruited a dedicated placement manager and Kickstart Skills Coach for the purpose.