A Kickstart case study

When the Government set up the Kickstart scheme in October 2020 it was aimed at tackling the rapid rise in youth unemployment due to the global pandemic. Given the scheme was largely government funded, the hope was that companies would see the huge benefit in taking on great young talent into various areas of their business, whilst offering employment support, training and experience which the candidates could then use to ‘Kickstart’ their careers.

ELBA ourselves took this amazing opportunity, bringing in 11 Kickstarters to 6 different areas of our business. And now, one of our fantastic Kickstarters, James Lewis, has shared his journey and experience 3 months into the programme:

I signed up for Universal Credit……. I felt embarrassed but also understood that I need help getting on my feet so why should I be ashamed of my truth? I must own it and overcome it. My appointments were all the same; I applied but got rejected or I applied and didn’t hear anything back until something changed. 

 Kickstarter placements last six months and are fully paid. This will actually help me to bolster my CV with actual work experience, to go on to get a full-time job after the placement. So far, I’m three months into my placement and it’s matured me massively. I take life seriously now and I understand the importance of working in a team and reaching deadlines, and the consequences of not meeting deadlines – everything has a knock-on effect.

I work at the London Works recruitment agency, which is a social enterprise that funds its parent charity ELBA. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my three months working, even when I’ve made mistakes – I’m grateful to have a good understanding with my line manager and we check in every day.

Being a Kickstarter is amazing because it teaches me what it’s like in a real office setting with a lot of support from my line manager and my colleagues. I get invited to team meetings which help me understand the different departments, to hear about progression and things that need to be improved. I create flyers that are circulated for upcoming events and I’m responsible for uploading contacts and companies to internal databases as well as interacting with the beneficiaries on the Moving on Up Program. I also have a mentor,  who I meet with on a monthly basis to talk about work-related things I’m involved in and areas I could perhaps improve on.

Each month I’m growing into my role of Admin & Comms Assistant, the skills I’ve developed through being on the Kickstart program has been hugely beneficial and has even helped me even outside of my work life.

It’s crazy how three months can change your perspective so much.”

James Lewis – Admin & Comms Assistant – London Works & ELBA Employment

The proof of this great programme is shining amongst us, not just at ELBA but at thousands of other companies around the UK who have taken that step forward to give young people a chance to get their careers back on track.

If any future companies are reading this with the thought of getting involved, take heart in the words above from one of our Kickstart champions, that it will make a huge positive difference, not just to your company but to that person’s life.

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