A young woman employed by Hope Rescue through Kickstart laughs as she stocks the rails at their charity shop

Kickstart scheme opens doors for young people

Published : 31/08/22 | Categories: News |

The Kickstart Scheme has come to a close, with more than 230 young people recruited through WCVA for voluntary organisations across Wales. We look back at some of the scheme’s successes.

The Kickstart Scheme was a UK Government initiative aimed to help young people into work. With fully funded six-month job placements for young people on Universal Credit, not only did the scheme offer vital employment but it also gave voluntary organisations the chance to increase their capacity at a time of need.

WCVA was a ‘gateway’ body for voluntary organisations in Wales – supporting voluntary organisations who weren’t large enough to qualify for the scheme to apply in batches.

Over the two years the scheme ran, we helped 60 organisations recruit more than 230 young people for varied and interesting positions across the voluntary sector.

A HELPING HAND AT THE HANGING GARDENS

‘The Kickstart Scheme has been a real turning point in the development of our project,’ says Luc-Antoine, Project Manager for the Hanging Gardens project in Llanidloes.

‘Not only has it enabled us to recruit staff…but it has also enabled us to engage local young people, to give them a chance to get involved locally, to develop their ideas, to learn new skills and know-how.’

The Hanging Gardens is a community project that opened in Llanidloes just a year ago. They recruited five young people through the Kickstart scheme, with some working in their community centre and café and some in the gardens themselves.

This extra capacity also helped them enhance their presence on social networks, allowing them to engage with new groups in their community and develop new activities.

Former Hanging Gardens Kickstarter Samantha has really benefitted from the experience. ‘I’ve gained many new skills that have really inspired me and helped me work towards my career goals…I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to explore and discover new avenues of work.

‘The training and networking opportunities provided (and the level of responsibilities given to me) have pushed me to become more confident and have opened new doors for me.’

A BOOST FOR BGFM

BGfm community radio station is another organisation that benefitted from the Kickstart funding. They had a range of roles becoming vacant and couldn’t afford to replace them with paid staff.

‘The Kickstart scheme has been a great opportunity for under 25s to gain valuable experience in the workplace enhancing their knowledge, skills and abilities that they did not realise they had,’ says Steve, Director of BGfm.

Kickstarter Ellie’s outlook on life changed dramatically thanks to the scheme. ‘I’ve developed a new level of confidence; my mental health has improved significantly, and life actually seems worth living.’

K-cee also joined through the scheme over the pandemic. ‘I think the Kickstart scheme is great, as I was struggling to find employment due to a lack of experience in a workplace environment.

‘The scheme has allowed me to gain this experience and prepared me for future employment, whilst also developing my knowledge and skills.’

Find out more about how the Kickstart scheme has helped voluntary organisations in Wales from beneficiaries Cynon Valley Organic Adventures and Hope Rescue.

The Kickstart scheme has now closed, but please check out our other available funding streams.

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