Interview with Kieran

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s actually like being a Kickstart employee, then look no further. Think Employment sat down with Kieran, a former employee to discuss his experience with the scheme, what he wishes he knew before joining, and how his employability skills have improved thanks to the Kickstart Scheme.

How Did You Discover The Kickstart Scheme?

I started applying for Kickstart Jobs basically as soon as they came out, so I think I was one of the first people to get one. I’d heard about it from the JobCentre, but one day I just searched for ‘Kickstart’ on the internet and Think Employment came up. I’d already done a course with them before. I knew the people. I liked everything about it; so I thought to myself why not, let’s do it.

Did You Have Any Expectations?

I’d never been in a professional environment like this, the only thing I’d done before was working in a charity shop. It was St. Andrews’ on Cromwell Road. That prepared me for a little bit of responsibility, but I wasn’t expecting much to be honest. I just thought I wouldn’t know what I was doing. I was expecting to meet people I didn’t like and have to work with them anyway, but that wasn’t the case, everyone ended up being so lovely.

 

What Was Your Job?

I was an Administration Assistant, which involves processing applications for the courses at Think Employment and helping everyone out in the office. If someone needs to book a test and they call back in, I’ll make a note of it and bring it to the person who books the tests. If someone calls, saying they’ve missed a call from one of the IAG (Information And Guidance) people, I’ll go tell them [IAG] that this person has called back, things like that. I was initially helping with the recruitment side of things, but obviously as more people got brought in to handle that I was re-purposed. I was also the Resident Invigilator which involves sitting in on tests and making sure people don’t cheat, mostly.

Did You Enjoy It?

I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve enjoyed the people. The people really made it. I came for the job and stayed for the people.

Did You Learn Any New Employability Skills?

Absolutely! I’m a much more confident person now. I used to be quite, you know, nervous about having to speak to strangers, so when I started on the phones I wasn’t very good. I’d always get tongue-tied, but now it’s second nature. I’ve got a lot of customer service skills now.

What’s One Piece Of Advice You’d Give To New Kickstart Scheme?

This placement gave me a lot of responsibility very quickly, but I genuinely feel that I’ve just moulded into the workplace a lot better because there wasn’t a high expectation of me being like, just a normal hire. I think everyone understood that I was a Kickstarter, so they were great. I just think overall it’s built my confidence a lot and it could do that for other people too.4

If you want to get involved with the Kickstart Scheme, you can search for hospitality and teaching jobs at: https://www.thinkkickstart.co.uk/ and https://www.thinkteaching.co.uk/jobs/ respectively.