Demi’s blog: My experience of the Kickstart Scheme
As part of our commitment to supporting members of our communities into work and education, we have signed up to the Government's Kickstart scheme and have been offering fully paid work placements for six months to give young people a stepping stone into work.
The Kickstart Scheme is a new programme launched by the Government to deliver funding for employers offering new job roles for 16-24-year-olds who are currently in receipt of Universal Credit. The programme is aimed at preventing young people who are currently unemployed from facing long term unemployment.
A few months into her role as Project Assistant for our Progress Lifeline service, we asked Demi to tell us her thoughts on the scheme and how she has found working at Progress Housing Group.
I came out of my previous job due to it affecting my mental health. From then I was out of work for around 12 months, struggling to keep myself motivated. After around eight months, my grandma came across an advertisement on Facebook for the Kickstart Scheme; I read the opportunity and instantly applied. Around a week later, I received a call from Progress Futures Officer Katie, who started working alongside me to help guide me through the whole application process.
I had never worked in an office environment before so I wasn’t sure what to expect or what would be expected of me. When I came to Sumner House for my first meeting with Katie, I had no clue what job I wanted to do and felt as though I had come to a halt. I talked with Katie, and she got to know me more, my personality, what I enjoyed and what I didn’t - this really helped me narrow down my options. She was amazing at keeping me focused and finding jobs that were suitable for me.
After I had chosen the job roles I liked, Katie then helped me with the applications. She set me up mock interviews and prepared interview questions/answers with me, which really contributed to building my confidence for the interviews.
By the time it came to my interviews, I wasn’t worried as I felt fully prepared for them. I had two interviews a day apart, and I ended up getting both of them, which then left me with a choice of which job I really preferred, and that was the role of Project Assistant at Progress Lifeline.
Since starting at Progress Lifeline, I have been working under Ali, Project Leader, who has been absolutely great with distributing tasks that are suited to me and some that will also challenge me. As well as this, Ali has been such good support and so helpful with ensuring I’m happy at work. I always have plenty to be doing.
Some of the tasks I complete/have completed are:
- booking in meetings
- making zoom appointments
- taking minutes in meetings
- creating agendas
- data inputting
- making outbound calls to service users’ family members
- creating action trackers and keeping up with them, and so much more!
I have been here for three months now, and it has flown by, but at the same time, it feels like so much longer - I’m really enjoying it. I feel as though I’ve learnt so much in such a short space of time, and I can’t wait to see what opportunities might come of this. I have gained lasting knowledge that I can use in the future, whether that’s outside of Progress or in a permanent role here.
There is still time to register your interest for a place on Progress Housing Group's Kickstart scheme
To find more about the Kickstart scheme, visit www.progressgroup.org.uk/kickstart or phone 03333 204555 and ask to speak to the Progress Futures Team.
Once registered, applicants will be assigned a mentor who will support them through the application process and throughout their Kickstart journey.