We’re proud to be supporting the Kickstart Scheme which provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. A graduate placed by Kickstart in her first role tells us about her experience.
I graduated university feeling anxious and ill prepared for the job market. Competition for jobs was high and I knew that a degree doesn’t necessarily promise a job at the end of it. I think we can all agree 2020 was a difficult year and one we had not prepared for. I studied International Tourism Management and had hopes of graduating and landing myself a degree–related job. As months went past, I realised just how tough the job market had become, let alone the tourism industry. I found myself applying for Universal Credit to support me through my job hunt.
So the hunt for a job began. I applied to a wide mixture of roles, including entry level roles, internships and positions in retail and hospitality. Many jobs I had applied for had gone on hold due to Covid, resulting in me broadening my job search even more. As months went by, I remember hearing the dreaded news of the third lockdown. This announcement made me start to believe I was never going to find a job. Dealing with the mixture of tedious applications followed by the what felt like countless rejections began to have an impact on my motivation.
My spirits got were lifted however when I was informed of the Kickstart Scheme by my Job Centre work coach. Hearing it was for those aged 16–24 and on receipt of Universal Credit felt too good to be true. I instantly started to be referred to any Kickstart schemes that I felt would enable me to get the work experience I needed. But I was surprised at just how many of them took my interest! I told my work coach that I wanted to pursue marketing and tourism and the idea of a 6-month placement in those industries was an amazing chance to get my foot in the door.
The scheme made me more optimistic and I began sending off applications to an exciting mixture of roles. Soon, I got invited for interviews and I felt my motivation return. I was almost used to companies not giving me a chance so it felt like a refreshing change.
Just weeks later I landed a position as a Digital Marketing Specialist at People and Their Brilliance. I already feel at ease knowing I am gaining valuable experience in an industry that I have hopes of pursuing. I have had the opportunity to meet other colleagues on the Kickstart Scheme, and we all share that sense of relief that we are now working. What’s more, I feel more supported in my career journey and excited for the future.
The Kickstart Scheme offers employers the opportunity to create placements for young, unemployed people for six months for 25 hours a week, paid at minimum wage, fully funded by the government.
The young person has to be under 25 years old, on universal credit with no other income. There is also a £1,500 grant with each placement to cover set up costs and training, with no obligation to take the person on at the end of the six months.
Cassie graduated from the University of Chester in 2019 with a first class degree in International Tourism Management. After a period of 8 months job searching and claiming universal credit as a result of the pandemic, she successfully secured a digital marketing role at People and Their Brilliance as part of the Government's Kickstart Scheme.