From education to employment

Young people in Coventry given chance to support the NHS through employment scheme

George Medcalfe Moore, Champagne Fredericks, Zaynab Nahim and Katie Parkes are all recent Kickstart applicants.

Coventry College has urged more local people to make use of a six-month employment programme that is providing support to the city’s hospital and helping young people achieve.

Coventry College, Coventry Jobcentre Plus, and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) have been working in partnership to put more than 20 local unemployed adults into the workplace through the Government’s Kickstart scheme.

The College has supported the hospital’s Kickstart scheme via its Next Steps hub, delivering short employability programmes through its sector gateway courses, and is hoping to help more people into the workplace to support NHS staff at UHCW.

The Government’s Kickstart Scheme was launched in September 2020, giving employers across England, Scotland and Wales the opportunity to offer fully-funded six-month job placements to 16–24-year-olds claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

It funds national minimum wage for 25 hours per week per employee, with extra funding available to provide training to secure future employment.

New employees recruited into advertised roles will be eligible for funding providing they begin their new role before the end of March.

Charlotte Brooks, Kickstart Recruitment Coordinator at UHCW said: “Kickstart is an amazing opportunity for someone wanting to pursue a career within the NHS.

“We offer support, guidance and progression. Some candidates have gained full time employment with us as a result of their placement.

“The pre-course Coventry College offer gives candidates the confidence and prepares them for a real work environment and interviews.”

Champagne Fredericks, George Medcalfe Moore, Zaynab Nahim and Katie Parkes are all recent Kickstart applicants who have either been offered a permanent post or are in the process of applying for a position working within UHCW in administrative posts.

Katie said: “The Kickstart Scheme has been nothing but a good thing for me. I went from unemployed and feeling lost, to waking up every day with a spring in my step.

“It’s been a wonderful experience so far. I’m very proud of myself and would urge anyone else who’s part of the scheme to take advantage of this opportunity to start again.”

Emma Ingram, Head of Employer Engagement and Sales at Coventry College, said: ‘‘We are so pleased to be working in partnership with Coventry Jobcentre Plus and UHCW in supporting Coventry’s unemployed adults to regain confidence and self-belief after becoming unemployed after the effects of the pandemic.

“We have fantastic college staff ready to support referred Jobcentre clients into new employment opportunities within various roles at UHCW and are proud to be part of their personal development journey while supporting the NHS.’’

Craig Sexty Guest, Coventry Jobcentre Business Development Lead, said: “As part of the Governments ‘Plan for Jobs’, Sector-based Work Academy Programmes are also proving a vital tool in offering unemployed young people a route into employment.

“Through pre-employment training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview, these academies offer a successful and unique approach to recruitment.  

“Coventry Jobcentre is extremely proud to have built a successful partnership with Coventry College and University Hospital Coventry to offer the young people of Coventry and Warwickshire access to some amazing Kickstart jobs.”

For further details on sector gateway courses at Coventry College, contact its dedicated Employer Engagement team by email [email protected] or by calling 02476 791700.

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