After I graduated from university last summer with a BA in History but very little actual work experience, job-hunting became months of time-consuming application processes following by generic rejection emails, or no replies at all. Dispirited, I finally applied for Universal Credit to boost what I earnt from a bit of bibliographical work I was doing at home.
I had several appointments at the Jobcentre Plus, involving me telling my jobs coach about my latest unsuccessful, and soon-to-be unsuccessful, applications, when they told me about the Kickstart scheme – the government pays local companies to take on young people who are struggling to start their careers. Many supposedly entry-level jobs demand professional experience, despite being entry-level, so the Kickstart scheme helps give young people that important experience. I was given a link to the Kickstart site and the contact details of specific roles I was interested in.
Getting this job through the Kickstart scheme has been wonderful – instead of sitting around at home feeling glum and getting nowhere, I’m in an office with a small, friendly team, gaining more experience, learning new skills, earning money, and feeling better about myself; these definitely made up for adjusting to the 9-5 Monday-Friday week. Meanwhile, Thomas Consulting has gained an eager member of staff to help support the business.
For the first couple of weeks, I’d always come home exhausted but also excited by all the new things I’d learnt each day – new administrative procedures, new software, new details about how an engineering consultancy works. I’m getting more used to working here now, but every day I still learn something new. Not only do I help with the general admin, managing information on projects and sending fee quotes to potential clients, but I also am encouraged to bring my fresh pair of eyes to Thomas Consulting’s online PR. I’ve also been able to go on day-courses on PR & social media and Google Analytics, run by the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce (of which Thomas Consulting is a member), giving me even more opportunities to learn new skills.
I would highly recommend the Kickstart scheme both to other young people struggling to get entry-level jobs, and to companies looking for enthusiastic new staff-members.