Kickstart helps 100th young person onto rewarding career path
By Sarah Wood
A hundred young people in Gloucestershire are now on their way to a fulfilling career, thanks to the county's Kickstart Scheme.
Kamea-Jade Bennett, who is 20 years old and from Brockworth, is the hundredth young person in the county to be employed through the government's Kickstart Scheme, which is supported in Gloucestershire by the council's Adult Education and Forwards Employment teams.
Young people from across the county have been successfully matched with a diverse range of employers in a wide variety of roles, including project management intern, classroom play assistant, café bar supervisor, trainee sign maker, marketing assistant and many more.
Kamea-Jade, who is doing a six month placement working as a commissioning support assistant at Gloucestershire's Clinical Commissioning Group (GCCG), said: "I joined the Kickstart Scheme as I saw it as an opportunity to develop my skills and abilities whilst gaining experience of working in an office.
"The Kickstart training package offered by the county council covers a good variety of topics, which will help and support me when the time comes to apply for future jobs. Whilst being part of this scheme and taking part in the training programme, I have become more confident."
GCCG recognises the exciting opportunities Kickstart offers to young people and the value they bring to the organisation.
A spokesperson said: "The Kickstart Scheme presents a great opportunity for young people to gain some real-life work experience that wouldn't otherwise have been available to them.
"So far, the scheme is having a hugely positive impact, giving young people the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, whilst working on a range of different areas within our team. The placement also allows them to learn new skills in a classroom setting that can then be utilised the very next day in a working environment."
Cllr Philip Robinson, cabinet member for economy, education and skills at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "I'm delighted to see Kickstart is helping so many young people begin their careers. It's an invaluable stepping stone, which allows them to gain work experience and learn the skills they need to secure employment in the future.
"We are committed to helping everyone in Gloucestershire to access the support they need to enjoy fulfilling careers through schemes like Kickstart and our newly launched Employment and Skills Hub."
The Kickstart Scheme offers six month paid placements to young people who are claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment. It is designed to open up careers young people might not have considered or generate opportunities in industries which may not have existed otherwise.
The placements give young people the chance to gain real experience and develop their employability skills, with full training to help them develop and progress into full-time paid jobs once their placement finishes.
The intention is not to fill existing vacancies, but to create new opportunities at a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people with no past work experience to enter the jobs market.
The county council currently employs 21 young people through Kickstart.
There are currently 72 businesses signed up to offer Kickstart placements.
Any business interested in becoming a Kickstart employer should email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Jobseekers interested in the scheme should contact their Jobcentre Plus work coach.
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