Young people encouraged to ‘sign-on’ to kickstart their careers

Inspiralba staff Danielle Barker, left, and Malcolm Allaway have spoken of the Kickstart Scheme's benefits.
Inspiralba staff Danielle Barker, left, and Malcolm Allaway have spoken of the Kickstart Scheme's benefits.

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available on subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device In addition your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Already a subscriber?
Subscribe Now

A Campbeltown charity is encouraging young people to ‘sign-on’ to help kickstart their careers.

Social enterprise Inspiralba has identified that many young people eligible for the Kickstart Scheme could be missing out on valuable career opportunities.

Established by the UK Government in response to unemployment created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the initiative provides those aged 16 to 24 with a chance to gain employment and develop new skills.

The Kickstart Scheme can support employers to cover 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant for 25 hours per week for six months.

This includes associated employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions.

Employers can spread the job start dates up until December 31 2021.

As a Kickstart gateway organisation, Inspiralba is encouraging young people who could be eligible to ‘sign-on’ as Kickstart Scheme applicants must be claiming benefits through Universal Credit.

Malcolm Allaway, a digital communications officer who joined the Inspiralba team in June, highlighted the positives of the Kickstart Scheme and told of his own reluctance to ‘sign-on’.

‘The Kickstart Scheme has given me the opportunity to find work in a new sector, where I feel as though I am making a difference,’ he said. ‘However, if I hadn’t previously heard about this job opportunity in particular, I probably wouldn’t have signed up for Universal Credit, because I had no idea how beneficial it could be.

‘The benefits of signing-on should be broadcast more to young, unemployed people so that more will be given the chance to be supported in finding employment.’

Malcolm Allaway, a digital communications officer at Inspiralba.
Malcolm Allaway, a digital communications officer at Inspiralba.

Danielle Barker, employed as an assistant heritage officer at Inspiralba, said: ‘Having signed up for Universal Credit, I can say that the process is quite straight forward. As long as you know your email, your personal details and have the requested documents to hand, such as a bank statement, you should be good to go.

‘Kickstart is more than just a job placement; it lets you build on your weaknesses which turn into strengths. You can improve on your attributes and personal development in a bid to release your full potential in a working environment.’

Danielle Barker, an assistant heritage officer at Inspiralba.
Danielle Barker, an assistant heritage officer at Inspiralba.

Reeni Kennedy-Boyle, business manager at Fyne Futures, is participating in the Kickstart Scheme and outlined the types of skills young people can gain under the programme.

‘Fyne Futures is delighted to be a delivery partner with Inspiralba in the Kickstart Scheme,’ she said. ‘The scheme is supporting young people to access skills development opportunities.

‘Our first cohort of young people are learning and developing horticultural, soft and transferable skills such as team-working, problem-solving, communication and using one’s own initiative. This enables participants to have fun whilst gaining meaningful employment.’

For more information about hosting placements, contact Rachel MacPhail on 07917 606052 or email rachel.macphail@inspiralba.org.uk

Those interested in applying for Kickstart Scheme placements should contact their local Job Centre.