Salford City Council – helping young people with Kickstart

Young people have been disproportionally impacted due to Covid-19. Two thirds of people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic are under the age of 25yrs.

In addition, the number of young people in Salford who are unemployed has more than doubled since March 2020, rising to over 2,700. This, alongside a reduction in vacancies and a general lack of opportunities, makes it really challenging time for young people.

As such the council is supporting Kickstart scheme, where the government fully funds a 25hr per week six-month paid work placement for a young person. Involvement in the scheme will help young people develop skills and experience and leave them well placed to apply for future jobs with either their host organisation or wider opportunities and to better compete in a crowded labour market.

To date the council have developed over 75 opportunities and started over 30 young people with Kickstart placements within the organisation and with external employers/organisations across the city. As an organisation we are committed to creating further opportunities internally and aim to work with as many local organisations as we can to help young people in the city.

Here is what the young people involved in Kickstart have to say about their experiences…

In addition to creating quality Kickstart placements, Salford City Council have teamed up with local partners to provide young people with a comprehensive package of Kickstart training and wrap-around support. Prior to placement we will help young people to be Kickstart workplace ready by providing them with the following pre-employment training, advice, and support:-

IT Awareness:
How to use MS Office in “a fun way” whilst also gaining presentation skills and using MS Teams

Basic team working:
Pushing young people out their comfort zones using virtual team games/break out rooms

Interpersonal skills:
Time keeping, communication skills, building positive relationships etc.

Money management:
How tax works, their wants and needs, goal setting and depending on their needs, housing tenancy skills

How to take care of your health and wellbeing:
Covering the 5 steps of wellbeing, good working from home practice and how to spot when you or someone is struggling

Workplace expectations:
What will be expected of them /how to keep COVID-19 safe in the workplace

During placement, young people can access a series of monthly themed Kickstart webinars to help them develop the necessary skills required to become more employable, including but not exclusively:

  • Careers advice and goal setting
  • Support to identify transferrable skills
  • Labour market information and vacancy awareness
  • Support with CVs and interview preparations

During placement, young people can access a series of monthly themed Kickstart webinars to help them develop the necessary skills required to become more employable, including but not exclusively:

  • Each young person will receive in-work mentoring support to help them settle into work and throughout their 6-month placement
  • Emergency financial provision (including advice on any reasonable adjustments, specialist equipment, clothing, or travel expenses)
  • Guidance on attendance and timekeeping whilst on placement
  • Access to skills training and vocational qualifications through local providers
  • Exclusive 24/7 access to 180 short on-line e-learning courses (Me Learning) on topics such as, problem solving, dealing with difficult customers, time management, data protection, GDPR etc
  • Access to a network of other young people to share their experience and make new friends

We also provide each young person with the opportunity to provide and receive regular feedback to review their progress and development via the following:

  1. The young person will have the opportunity to provide regular feedback on their placement experience and development via weekly Feedback Friday sessions.
  2. In addition young people will formally record any work activities, training, skills and learning received whilst undertking the placement via a Weekly Learning Log
  3. The employer will provide regular formal feedback regarding the young person’s development via the Monthly Review and Feedback form

Added value and green travel
In addition, to encourage green travel, all young people will be eligible to receive a free bicycle at the start of their Kickstart placement (including lights and a lock) to help them get to and from their place of work. The bicycles are refurbished bicycles supplied via the National Cycling Academy (NCA). The NCA will ensure that those wishing to receive a bicycle are matched to an appropriate bicycle.

Post placement support
Extra support and assistance to help young people to successfully secure employment post Kickstart, including:

  • Career guidance and job brokerage support during and at the end of the placement to transition into full time education or employment
  • Support to learn to drive, including any costs associated with acquiring a provisional license and a free
    course of 20 driving lessons with approved driving instructors (subject to achieving agreed placement milestones i.e. attendance)
  • Alternatively, young people completing Kickstart will have the option of a new free bike instead of driving lessons

Here’s what teams are saying about the young people involved in Kickstart:
“Y attended the Salford Way launch and contributed to the chat/comments – so much so that Tom Stannard closed the event by ending on Y’s comment!”
“C has become more confident to engage with the young people in a positive way and is learning how to encourage the young people doing activities.”
“Since starting his placement, A has demonstrated a very positive attitude to work and a ‘can do’ approach. He is always willing to support others when called upon and readily responds to work requests.”

Here’s what young people have enjoyed the most about Kickstart:
“Taking part in youth support work for the first time and listening to people who are struggling and being there for them.”
“Being able to build up a good relationship with a group of young people and begin to earn respect. A hard week but positive.”
“Delivering Easter baskets to care homes…there was a sense of community and appreciation when we were giving out the Easter packs.”
“One of our kids has learned to walk and she is so proud of herself, as am I. Everybody here is hard working, friendly, kind, and helpful. Having a laugh with my work colleagues. I enjoy working with people from Salford.”
“I spoke to many residents of Salford when working in the parks and listened to their feedback on my work that I was carrying out. Team leader gave me feedback after each job completed. I enjoyed it a lot.”
“I enjoyed tis week a lot as have now learned new skills and will eventually be able to put them skills into practice.”
“Working to my best potential, taking responsibility, and being proud of what I produce and Being given new areas of work.”
“As part of the scheme young people have been given the opportunity to receive a re-cycled bike to help them travel to their place of work. ‘Starting an independent project has been really nice for me and having the opportunity to receive a free bike is the cherry on top.”