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From Kickstart to Apprenticeship

From Kickstart to an Apprenticeship: how young people are given an opportunity in the workplace.

The Kickstart scheme was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July 2020 as part of his plan to provide opportunities for people aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.  The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit.

I spoke to Ben Anderson and Jacob McLean, who started on the Kickstart scheme and are now completing an 18-month apprenticeship in their chosen area.

Ben decided to apply for the Kickstart scheme after discovering that university wasn’t the right fit for him. He said, “when I heard about Kickstart it was a chance for me to develop more skills. When I first started, I got the opportunity to speak to people within the company which helped me to build up my confidence.”

Jacob, who studied Business Level 1 and 2 and IT Level 1 at college, saw Kickstart opportunity in similar fashion. “It as an opportunity to gain a hands-on experience within the workplace and a chance to learn new skills.”

During the Kickstart scheme, both learnt a wide range of skills to help them within the workplace.

Speaking to Jacob, he told me how this scheme was a chance to learn valuable skills like building up his confidence by embracing the role and working on areas of weakness, such as speaking to visitors coming into the centre.

Ben’s Digital Marketing Apprenticeship is with Evoke Technologies, which is based at Craven Park Training & Enterprise Centre. He spoke about how during the Kickstart scheme he was involved in their social media and marketing. He said “it got mentioned to me that there is a Digital Marketing opportunity apprenticeship. I just saw it as an expansion of something from what I was doing already. So it was the perfect thing to go straight into.”

Jacob, a month into his apprenticeship at Hull City Council and within the Managed Workspace Centres team said he is doing Business Administration at Level 3. He said on completion of this apprenticeship “This will allow me to further progress my skills by learning more to achieve a good qualification, which will help me out in the future in terms of employment and putting this skill to good use.”

Even though both Ben and Jacob are new to their respective roles, they have already learnt a lot. Ben talked about how he is learning the analytic engagement for social media and the website. “We have other people that work on the website, but I would like to eventually learn how to work on the analytics for the website.”

Jacob also talked about how he is working on projects for the MWC team and working in photoshop which he said, “is helping to enhance my photoshop skills which will help with content for Twitter and on the website too.”

Both spoke very highly of the work they are achieving, but at the end of the 18-month programme, they talked about what they hope to achieve. Ben told me that he is excited to see what opportunity will come at the end of it and he hopes that they will be an employment opportunity to follow up after the apprenticeship.

While Jacob told me how he wants to keep progressing his skills and end up with a qualification from his apprenticeship which will help towards future employment.

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