From Portugal to Salford, Diana’s Kickstart Success with Employer This Employability Day – FE News

A North West landlord is celebrating helping more than 50 young people kickstart their careers through the government-backed Kickstart scheme ahead of Employability Day this Friday, June 17.

The unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds peaked at 14.8%, or 606,000 people in July-September 2020 following the start of the pandemic, compared to 12.3%.

Progressive landlord ForHousing, which owns and manages 24,000 homes in the North West, wanted to join the Kickstart program to give unemployed local youth and universal credit the chance to learn new skills and improve their chances in the job market. life for six months. Internships.

Since September 2020, 54 “Kickstarters” have been hired through the program by ForHousing, contributing 32,000 hours of work across more than twenty different departments – ranging from revenue maximization to digital assistance and waste management.

Of these, 91% have completed their placement, which is significantly higher than the national average of 83%. To date, 17 have secured permanent employment with ForHousing.

The owner treated the placements as short apprenticeships, ensuring that each Kickstarter would be surrounded by a support team and had the opportunity to get involved in multiple projects.

Diana Lourenço, 22, is among the Kickstarters currently benefiting from the program. This is a springboard for her to make her dream of a career in business a reality.

Originally from Portugal, Diana moved to Salford alone at the age of 16 to study, learn English and have more opportunities in life and work. She says it was a tough time, but she was determined to make a fresh start.

Her mother and younger brothers joined her soon after and they moved into a ForHousing house together as a family in Salford.

Diana, who was on Universal Credit before securing her six-month Kickstart placement on ForHousing’s Jobs and Enterprise team in March, says the new role is helping her achieve her career ambitions and she’s proud of have a positive impact.

She is currently completing a Business Foundation course at Manchester Metropolitan University before starting a degree in international business in September, just as her placement with ForHousing as an administrative assistant comes to an end.

Diana said: “It has been an amazing experience for me. I am constantly developing new skills, and this especially helps me with writing and communication. I know I am learning skills that I will use for the rest of my life.

Prior to starting with ForHousing, Diana worked in retail, sales and at Manchester United. She says it was a really helpful experience, but it didn’t align with her long-term goal of working in business like the Kickstart placement did.

Diana added: “I’m really excited for the future. I hope to do a masters in project management after completing my degree in international business. I hope to one day achieve my goal of a career in business and project management.

“I’m so excited for my future, I really hope I accomplish everything I set out to do!”

With the program closing in March, ForHousing is now exploring ways to replicate the model in other parts of the business. The owner is already committed to helping people of all ages access job and skills opportunities through their Bright Futures program.

Martyn Hague, Executive Client Director at ForHousing, said: “The Kickstart program has changed the lives of so many young people who were struggling to find work.

“We are proud to have welcomed so many young professionals like Diana with so much potential, who were ready for an opportunity and a chance to build a career. We believe that change, not chance, improves lives and that is what excites us at ForHousing.

The Kickstart scheme has provided £2bn of funding to enable businesses to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds through Universal Credit to help those at risk of long-term unemployment.

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