On September 2nd 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched the Kickstart Scheme to help 18–25 year olds enter high-quality, government-subsidised jobs.
Employees would have a 6-month internship-style role where the government would reimburse companies who employed new members of staff through the Kickstart Scheme for up to 25 hours per week.
At this time, I was a twentysomething individual who’d just left compulsory further education with little work experience to my name.
I, alongside many others of a similar age, dreamed that the Kickstart Scheme would bring a desperately needed beacon of hope to a sparse and lonely job market hit incredibly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finding A Position
Having met the criteria, and while applying for roles through my local job centre, I came across a company named Your Digital Solutions.
Your Digital Solutions is a telecoms-based startup business situated in Paignton, Devon. A small company made up of 3 professionals, the team all work remotely to deliver improved broadband and phone packages for small businesses.
The company also has an ecommerce shop where customers can buy printers, printer parts, headsets, telephones, and home-working equipment. Sanitising kit is available too, as this is particularly relevant during a global pandemic.
After applying for the position, I met with Dean Kelly – the business owner – who interviewed me and gave me an insight into the company. He told me how long they had been trading, outlined his experience in the sector, and described what would be required from me if I were to be offered a role in his company.
My first impressions of Dean were good, and I could immediately tell that this was the sort of work I had been looking for. After waiting anxiously for days on end, one evening I received a text message with the news I had been hoping for.
“We’d Like To Offer You A Position At Your Digital Solutions”
The next step was drawing up a contract, being given a start date, and having my induction into the company. At this point I was thrilled to be given an opportunity to enter the business world!
However, when starting the position I found that not everything was run how I expected. For example, as the business was started during the Coronavirus pandemic, nearly all my work was to be done remotely.
On reflection, I can say this has presented challenges (especially when the remote working technology does not run smoothly), but due to beginning my working life in these circumstances, I haven’t known any different.
I have been in this position for over a month now, and can say that – given the times we are living in – I do not know if I could have received a better introduction to business.
Once my six-month placement with Your Digital Solutions is over, they may say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to me, but even if this is the case, I can say that I have worked in my first professional job and acquired the skills to bolster my CV and be more attractive to future employers.
Alternatively, the day may come when I am sat down and offered a full-time position. Either way, I would like to take the chance to say a massive thank you to the whole YDS Team!
In particular, I would like to thank Dean Kelly. It is not easy right now for young people who are leaving education and looking for employment in the career of their dreams, so the fact that Dean decided to offer me this position speaks volumes to me about his qualities as an employer and as a person.
Lastly, my final point is that if it weren’t for the Kickstart Scheme, none of this would have happened. As an education leaver who never thought he would find a position like this, I can safely say the Kickstart Scheme has kickstarted my career prospects!