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Two students secure full-time employment through Kickstart programme

Two of our Kickstart students have now secured full-time positions at City of Bristol College following a successful and impressive six-month-long pilot scheme.

Charis Lewis and Finlay Cochrane joined us as members of staff through the government’s six-month Kickstart programme.

Kickstart Academy was set up through the our solution-focused subsidiary Partners in Bristol, the Department for Work and Pensions and Bristol City Council. The trio teamed up to ensure that the young people in the city are given an opportunity to ‘kickstart’ their careers.

Finlay joined the College as a temporary member of staff during the enrolment period before jumping on the Kickstart scheme with Partners in Bristol. He has now secured himself a full-time position in the post and has been enjoying building his knowledge and skills while gaining vital life experiences.

Charis, aged 24, also joined the college as a Kickstart apprentice in May last year and is now a full-time member of staff as a Learner/Customer Service Advisor.

Despite leaving university with an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Studies and a Masters degree in Family Support, Charis struggled to find employment due to her lack of experience and, as a result, found herself on Universal Credit.

She said: “I found the Kickstart programme really good! The hours were very good on minimum wage, which is better than being unemployed, and I have had a lot of opportunities to gain extra training. On our first day, we had four training sessions which was really nice and I already have the certificates for my CV in health and safety, safeguarding children, GDPR and equality and diversity.”

During her time on the programme, Charis learned to navigate our various CRM systems, develop her understanding of the different courses and bursaries and improve her customer service skills by dealing with people at the Student Services desk.

Charis added: I 100% recommend the Kickstart programme. Having been on Universal Credit for so long, the longer you are unemployed the worse your CV will look as you have been out of work for so long.

“It is nice to have the opportunity to gain that experience before looking for full-time positions. Sometimes you know you can do the job but if no one gives you that chance, it is nice to go into a position you know you are going to gain more experience and they don’t have that expectation that you need to know everything.”

Charis and Finlay are just two of the Kickstart students who have seen success since completing their six-month period with us. Many others who joined the college in different departments have been able to progress into other areas of employment.

You can find out more about Partners in Bristol.

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