Futures supports unemployment initiative in Nottingham though becoming a Kickstart employer
Futures are proud to be supporting the Kickstart scheme, not only through giving training and advice to those on the scheme, but also through participating as a local Nottingham employer.
Kickstart is a valuable programme that allows 16-24-year-olds who are unemployed and claiming Universal Credit the opportunity to find paid six-month placements, build their skills and experiences, improve their CV and support their future employment prospects.
We’ve supported the Kickstart scheme through the introduction of 3-day training courses, allowing participants to receive a City and Guilds Level 1 Award in Employability Skills as well as a polished and focused CV. Participants in the course also receive access to specialist Kickstart vacancies, alongside application support for these roles.
We’ve always seen the value that young employees who are just starting out in work can bring to a business, which is why we wanted to participate further and open up Kickstart vacancies within our own company.
Abi Rae, Futures Senior Learning and Development Manager, said: “From a Learning and Development perspective, I would say that the benefit of having these fab individuals in the business is that they are embedded in our world the same as any other team member – and have been given an opportunity to see what we do, learn from others and challenge us! They are helping to shape our future – we embrace innovations and new perspectives, and they have joined us and shaken things up. We have been astonished by the level of commitment and have been able to reward that with some formal and informal training, attendance at our corporate induction to meet colleagues from other parts of the Futures family to expand their professional networks and shadowing other experiences colleagues in all the roles we offer.”
Alongside our efforts to incorporate our Kickstart employees into our wider company culture, we have also been able to enrol them onto formal training courses to help expand their knowledge and skills further. As well as this, we are working on a programme that will help Kickstart employees to find on-going employment in the event that we are unable to facilitate permanent job roles with Futures.
We spoke to some of Futures own Kickstart employees to learn more about their experience on the programme:
“I have enjoyed my time at Futures and enjoyed working with a lovely team who are very helpful. I got involved in Kickstart due to my health condition, and because the restaurant I was working in before had to close due to lockdown. I was looking for a job when one of my friends told me about Universal Credit, which led me to Kickstart. I’ve learned a lot of new things from the work and from my team, and it’s great to be able to have fun with them while working. I’m hoping to be able to stay with the team when my Kickstart programme is over – I’d really miss them and have a lot to thank them for.” Alister De-Souza, Trainee Customer Contact Associate
“It was very disheartening to be turned down or not even hear back from the majority of employers due to my lack of experience, so this led to me looking for work in any field just to gain actual experience in a working environment. I heard about the Kickstart scheme through my work coach, and this helped me find a role at Futures. I was excited at the chance to join Futures as I’ve received help from them before with my CV, and I also did a course in employability with Futures which guaranteed me an interview for my current role. During the six months of employment, I’m hoping to build up my skills enough that I become an integral part of the IT team and the company will want to keep me on. If not, I will have gained the vital experience needed to find work. I’m very thankful for the opportunity provided by Kickstart and Futures.” Kyle Thompson, Junior First Line IT
“Overall, my Kickstart experience has been one of the best experiences I have faced. I have learnt new things every day. For example, I am experiencing dealing with a range of customers and faced with many challenges. There are good and bad days. Furthermore, I have gained new skills, such as how to arrange and call a customer back when they have sent in email request as well as improve on my writing skills when replying to customer queries. I am grateful for this Kickstart experience because not only has it been a success, but I have progressed on to a permanent full time Trainee Careers Adviser position within the company. My confidence has grown massively throughout the Kickstart experience, and it has taught me to always go after my dreams. For me, I have always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and for them to achieve more. I hope in the future that I continue to achieve more as I progress further and hopefully achieve my dream of managing my own team.” Gugulethu Ndlouv-Gachengo, Trainee Customer Contact Associate
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