Helping young people get a foot on the career ladder

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Young people from across the borough – who’ve previously struggled to secure work – have been given a helping hand to get on the career ladder.

We created 16 new roles and recruited 14 people to them after signing up to a national programme called Kickstart.

The scheme was launched in 2020 and was designed to help people aged 16 to 24 gain real-world job experience and training.

It was open to people accessing universal credit and in danger of long-term unemployment.

The programme lasts six months and all participants are paid while they work a minimum of 25 hours per week.

The young people are working across a range of roles in the council.

They include finance, communications and marketing, at Scarborough Spa, in the harbour team at Whitby, in tourism and the community sports team.

One was even nominated for one of the council’s internal staff recognition awards for his contribution to the parks team.

As well as work experience, the Kickstart participants have had access to a range of training opportunities.

Several have achieved qualifications in first aid, others have benefitted from presentation and public speaking training and many have worked with the Yorkshire in Business team.

Every participant has also been helped by a Job Centre work coach.

Since joining the scheme, one of the participants has secured a full-time job with the council and another is being recruited to an internal role.

A third – the first person to join the council under Kickstart – has secured a place at university to study a Masters degree and a fast-track route into social work.

She beat off competition from several thousand candidates to get her university place.

The national Kickstart scheme has now ended but the council is considering how it could run a local version of the scheme to support other young people in the borough in future.

Councillor Janet Jefferson, cabinet member for corporate services, said:

“As a large employer in the borough, we’ve always been keen to do what we can to find and nurture talent of the future.

“I also think we have an important role to support young people who may be struggling to secure employment.

“It’s fantastic that our Kickstart participants are benefitting from being on the scheme whether they have found permanent work with us or secured a dream university place.

“We are now looking at options for running our own version of the programme and I look forward to the potential of welcoming more young people to the council in future.”