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