How the Kickstart Scheme is helping young people - Patrick's story
It’s a reality that a lot of young people are struggling to get a foothold on the first rung of the career ladder.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, 1 in 8 of recent graduates in the UK are unemployed, and unemployment of those who had recently obtained a degree rose to 12%.
Undoubtedly the pandemic has had an enormous impact on the employment landscape in general, but has disproportionately affected young people. Apprenticeships were cancelled and job offers were rescinded, forcing a turn to Universal Credit as a means of support.
In response, the government are providing a new initiative, the Kickstart Scheme, which aims to place young people aged 16-24 who are in receipt of Universal Credit in 6-month paid-role placements to help improve employment prospects.
We're delighted to have been made an official gateway provider of these roles and two young people have joined our HQ team as part of the initiative.
We sat down (virtually, of course) to have a chat with our new Digital Campaign Coordinator Patrick, who has joined our team, to find out about his experience of job hunting and the hopes for the future which have been renewed due to the scheme.
Patrick, we’re so excited to have you on board. Tell us a little more about yourself.
I’m 22, from Liverpool. I graduated last summer from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Film Studies and had been job hunting for a good few months.
How has it been in general looking for jobs?
I can’t lie, it’s been tough. Universal Credit has been a great support but I am keen to gain skills and experience which I just can't get from being unemployed.
Was it easy to find out about the opportunities available through the Kickstart Scheme?
So easy. Each local job centre has a list of Kickstart roles in the local area, so I had a look through the list and the role with redwigwam jumped out as there were similarities with my degree and the types of tasks on the job description. It felt a natural fit.
How did you apply?
Through my Work Coach at my local job centre. She put me forward for the role by sending my CV over to the redwigwam. I had an interview with the marketing team and just over one week later I started.
Can you tell everyone a little bit about the role with redwigwam.
As Marketing Campaign Coordinator, I’m getting involved across the different projects the team are working on. Which is great because it means I get to try out a load of different aspects of marketing and I can get a sense of what areas interest me.
"I've been supporting the team writing social media posts, using digital platforms, researching - it's been a very busy, but very welcome change. I've been learning how to get started in the world of work".
What do you hope the placement will give you?
Good foundational knowledge of marketing and experience of what it's like being in the workplace. As it’s an entry-level role there’s no pressure on me to know it all so am able to gain new skills in a safe environment. Plus it's going to be such valuable experience to add to my CV.
Any final words of encouragement to other young people out there who are currently seeking employment?
Yes. I really can’t say enough how good it feels to be learning something new and be more positive about future job opportunities - I’d definitely recommend anyone who fits the application criteria to have a look at other Kickstart placements available through redwigwam.