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Kickstart your career! – Amy’s story

The Kickstart Scheme made up part of the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ skills and employment programmes, which also include Apprenticeships, T Levels and Traineeships.

The scheme offered six-month jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 years old, who were claiming Universal Credit and were at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers benefit from having a young person working for them, funded by the Government. The employer also supported them to develop transferable skills that are aimed at increasing their chances of sustained employment.

Thousands of employers like ExtraCare, across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, got involved. The scheme covered:

• 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
• Associated employer National Insurance contributions
• Minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions
• A grant of £1,500 per job to cover setup costs and employability support


Amy’s Kickstart experience with ExtraCare

We recently discussed the scheme with Amy Blakemore, 25, from Evesham. Amy discusses how her role on the Kickstart Scheme ended up in her finding a permanent position working for ExtraCare as a housing assistant.

Where did you work with ExtraCare in the Kickstart Scheme?

I worked at Yates Court.

How did you hear about the scheme?

At the job centre.

Why would you recommend a path similar to this to others?

I would recommend something like the Kickstart Scheme to anyone who is struggling to find work or isn’t very confident, it really helped put my foot in the door which then led to a permanent position.

How did you find the Kickstart experience?

The Kickstart experience was beneficial to help gain experience in a role I wouldn’t have been confident doing before. Being out of work for almost a year due to Covid really knocked my confidence so to be able to gain more experience in an office environment helped me to be in the role I’m in now.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the role?

The most rewarding aspect of the role was for my hard work to be acknowledged and being offered a permanent role within the company.

How did the permanent ExtraCare role come about and what is your current position?

When I started my Kickstart role as an administrator there was a housing assistant role to be filled. I started working alongside the current housing assistant and helping her with her tasks. This then led to management noticing my hard work and advising that I should apply for the housing assistant post. I did and I was successful.

Do you feel you have made a difference in your role and if so, how?

I made a difference in my role as administrator by taking a lot of the workload from the current administrator and assisting during staff sickness. I then went on to help the housing assistant who was doing the work of two people due to the housing post being available, so again, I helped ease the workload. I have also benefitted personally by entering a job role I have never done before and learning new skills.