First work-ready Kickstart graduates get set for paid work experience

First work-ready Kickstart graduates get set for paid work experience

It’s all smiles for the first students to benefit from Trafford College’s work-ready training, which results in paid work experience with leading local employers as part of the government’s Kickstart Programme.

Following two weeks of classroom-based work resilience, customer service and personal health & wellbeing skills workshops delivered by College’s Employability and Community Learning Department, these 16 to 24-year-olds will gain six months of valuable on-the-job training with the largest cancer treatment centre in Europe, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

More than 120,000 jobs for 16 to 24 year olds have now been created through the government’s flagship Kickstart Scheme, with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Trafford Council among the first employers to use Trafford College’s expertise to provide pre-work and continuing professional development to trainees.

Student Lucy Thompson, 19, from Altrincham is a former pharmacy apprentice and make-up artist, whose hair and beauty business was forced to close during COVID-19. The former Wellington High School pupil said: “All I want to be is a radiology assistant and work with The Christie, which is a big opportunity. The work-ready training has definitely prepared us all a lot, having equipped me with the relevant skills and a positive mindset for career success.”

Chorlton’s Caroline Green, 24, formerly of Manchester Health Academy joined the Kickstart Scheme to boost her working hours each week. She said: “By working as a healthcare assistant in pre-op through the Kickstart Scheme I will have the opportunity to start and build a career. I found the tuition about interview skills most useful from the work-ready training. It has prepared me in ways that I wouldn’t have thought of myself.”

The Kickstart Scheme is now open to even more employers after the government removed the limit on the minimum number of vacancies in February, with businesses of all sizes now able to apply and receive work-ready training from Trafford College.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust Workforce Development Manager Julie Owen said: “We are so pleased to be positively collaborating with Trafford College. It’s our local college and the two-week work ready programme was perfectly mapped out and exactly what we were looking for. The Employability and Community Learning Team has been very supportive throughout the entire process and we’ve received excellent feedback from our first Kickstart cohort.”

Trafford College is one of the leading providers of work-ready training in Greater Manchester, having supported over 100 people in the past two years through Sector Based Work Academies in partnership with the NHS, resulting in guaranteed job interviews for successful applicants, work placements and permanent roles for many, which have proved vital during the COVID-19 recovery process.

Trafford College Community Learning Coordinator David Roberts said: “We understand the challenges faced by employers and young people, which is why we are delighted to be able to use our expertise to support people into work and help continue their professional development throughout their six months of paid work experience.

“I’m proud that we have developed the Work Ready programme in partnership with local employers, the programme looks at the needs of candidates in a very holistic way and gives them the best possible start to great success.”

To find out more about the Kickstart Scheme visit Trafford College’s website or email kickstart@tcg.ac.uk.