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Kickstarting careers for young people

Posted onPosted on 5th Oct

Mansfield District Council has retained six members of staff in apprenticeships and full-time roles, following the successful roll-out of the Kickstart programme.

The Department for Work and Pensions provided funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who were at risk of long-term unemployment, as a response to the impact of Covid-19.

The authority initially created 11 work placements to advertise through the Jobcentre in a range of service areas, from human resources to trade at the Housing Repairs depot.

Of the 11 young people who joined the council, eight have gone on into employment either with the authority or in the private sector, and the remaining three left before the six-month placement ended.

One who benefitted from the scheme when it began in November 2021, and now serves as a full-time customer service agent at the council, is 25-year-old Dylan Webster.

He said: “I had been working in a pub for over five years and then the pandemic hit. I had 18 months of insecure agency work doing a few weeks here and there in various roles, and then I heard about this role through my job coach.

“Everyone in my team has been really helpful and supportive, which has been reassuring and built up my confidence.

“Personally, this scheme has given me a fully- stable income. In my previous trade, especially with the energy increases we are seeing, it would have fluctuated. Professionally, I have matured quite a bit and seen a shift in myself.

“I had never been in a professional environment or planned to do customer services, but wouldn’t change any of it.

“Without the scheme, I would be struggling to keep secure employment. It’s helped me get to this point in my life and has opened up lots of options for me in the future.”

Dylan, who grew up in Ladybrook, Mansfield, is currently maternity cover in the customer services team and will move into the homeless team on a fixed-term full-time basis.

Mayor Andy Abrahams added: “By partaking in this scheme the council is not only inspiring the next generation to become more knowledgeable about careers in the public sector, but we have also given them transferrable skills to provide that platform on to the next job role.

“That’s why it has been encouraging to see that all of the candidates have gone into full-time work now the scheme has concluded — either with the council or in the private sector.”