Younger people on Universal Credit (UC) are stepping onto their career paths through our charity.
Earn while you learn
We’ve taken full advantage of the government’s Kickstart programme. 16-24-year-olds on UC can now find work through our charity.
The projects povides skills and a platform from which to build careers, while the government pays their salaries.
Worries about career paths
Rachel Elias, who trained as a Business Development Assistant at the charity had this to say: “We went into lockdown towards the end of my second year at university and this made it difficult to find work placements during my third year, which was part of our assessments.
“It was even harder to find work after finishing university. I couldn’t get interview offers, because most companies look to hire people with experience. It really created confidence issues for me, as I didn’t have real-life job experience, let alone in an area I wanted to work in.
“I worried that this initial set back was going to affect my future career. However, working at the charity has given my confidence a massive boost and I’ve learned a lot. I now feel fully capable of doing a job and that I’m going to have a great career.”
Expanding the project
So far, the charity has trained five Kickstart trainees, in either marketing, business development or as advisers. Now, with funding from Macmillan Cancer Support and Quartet Community Foundation, the charity is seeking to grow the project.
They are already training a new group of advisers while the first group receive further employment and training.
Rewarding career paths
The experience of working with the charity can be invaluable for younger people looking to go into legal or social welfare careers. In the past, local students have sought placements with Citizens Advice for this purpose.
Candidates have also spoken of how rewarding it is helping people who are in difficult situations.
Rhianna Selkridge-Carty finished her Kickstart placement and has taken a full-time place as an adviser at the charity, and aims to progress her career at Citizens Advice. She said: “It was a real privilege to be in a position where clients could talk to me in an honest way about something personal, build trust and establish a strong rapport with clients. It was very rewarding to feel like you made a positive impact for the people of your own community.”
What does it mean for clients?
With so many people facing financial problems due to price rises and other Covid consequences, the programme is also enabling the charity to bolster its adviser numbers.
Simon Lawson, CEO of the charity said: “This training project isn’t just about getting people off Universal Credit and into work. It’s also vital for residents as it will enable us to answer more calls for help from people who are struggling with complex issues like debt and benefits.”
The deadline to apply for the last two trainee adviser places of this round closes on Friday 11 March. Candidates must be between 16 and 24 and receiving UC and should speak to their Job Coaches about applying. Qualifications aren’t necessary, just good basic literacy and basic maths. A real desire to learn and to make a difference in your community is also preferrable.
You can find out more about the project and make an application by clicking here.