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Success for Kickstart trainees

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Kickstart trainees have received certificates for completing their six-month placement with us.

A group of 12 young people took up trainee roles with us through the government funded Kickstart scheme, which was designed to enable 18-24 year-olds to receive work experience and workplace training.

Five of the Kickstarters trained as park rangers at Stover Country Park and the Grand Western Canal Country Park, while the remainder worked in administrative based roles in a variety of our departments.

Half of the trainees also underwent a 10-week course learning about Devon County Council, improving their interview and CV writing skills as well as other skills relating to employability.

Four trainees were directly supported into their Kickstarts by Devon Youth Hub. They included Jake Banbury.

Jake said: “The Job Centre recommended that I visit the Youth Hub to help me with my CV and cover letters. We had a look at applications and the Kickstart course was one of the things to go for. I’ve realised I can apply for more jobs and be better prepared for interviews, and I don’t feel so nervous now. For anyone aged 16-24 who needs help to find work or training I would definitely recommend them to come to the Youth Hub. I felt really honoured and pleased to get my certificate. It’s a good start to something new.”

Rhian Hawthorne, Devon Youth Hub co-ordinator, said: “Employing our Kickstart trainee, Jake, has been amazing for the service. Jake’s friendly nature has meant that all our young people, parents, and other visitors to the Youth Hub and Exeter Works have been welcomed to the centre in a warm and relatable way. He has helped the service with the way it communicates with members of the public through identifying areas where the service can improve messaging and make it clearer to more people. As a disability confident employer, supporting young people with additional needs is really important to us. Jake is a good example of the benefits of having an inclusive team. We have seen him grow in confidence and improve his work skills. Jake has also helped me learn new ways of working with staff and with young people who use the Youth Hub. The Kickstart experience has been invaluable.”

All of the trainees have gone on to further training, education or employment. Among them is Kate O’Brien, who has taken up a role with our transport team.

She said: “I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was OK at writing CVs but I found interviews nerve-racking. I feel much more confident with people now. I had never really done Teams meetings or Zoom meetings before, just once or twice, and it’s given me confidence that I can have a Teams meeting with one person or a group of people that I don’t know and I’m not nervous at all at the beginning. I would say don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It’s really helped me. There are so many options to get you on the right track to do what you want to do.”

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said:

“Congratulations to all of the trainees for completing their six-month placements. All of them have opened up new opportunities to employment, learning several new workplace skills that are transferrable into future jobs and it’s excellent news to see that some of them have gone on to gain full time employment off the back of the Kickstart scheme.”

More than 400 young people across Devon have taken part in the Kickstart scheme.