OLDHAM Active (Oldham Community Leisure) is working with local young unemployed people, providing them with six months paid work experience to help them to secure permanent employment.
The leisure trust has 11 Kickstarter placements as part of the Governments’ Kickstart scheme, which aims to create jobs for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit.
The placements have proven to be a valuable asset to Oldham Active, with some undertaking further training and others having their employment extended for the longer term.
Simon Blair, Oldham Active’s Head of Business Development, said: “It’s essential young unemployed people are given a chance to show their worth, and the Kickstart Scheme allows them to get the experience they may lack when looking for jobs.
“We are hopeful our placements can introduce the young people in our community to a career in leisure, hopefully for the long term.”
Since July 2021, Oldham Active’s Kickstart scheme has had young people working in a variety of roles and departments including HR administrator, leisure team staff, swim scheme administration, facilities and public relations.
Jack Kelly, 18, from Royton, started his Kickstart Placement with Oldham Active in March 2022, working in the public relations and social media department.
He said: “After I finished my A ‘Levels I really struggled to find any work. I looked into apprenticeships and nothing was available.
“I began to feel down and worthless. I didn’t like claiming Universal Credit, but every job I went for asked for more experience or different qualifications.
“I sent out loads of applications and didn’t get a single reply. It really knocked my confidence. It’s very disheartening.
“I found out about the Kickstart Scheme at an employment fair at Oldham College. I met with the Oldham Active HR Manager, who offered me the paid Kickstart placement.
“It’s been fantastic to have a purpose and to have a routine. My role at Oldham Active has increased my confidence as I was met with respect and understanding.
“I was treated as an employee, not just a Kickstarter. If there was something I didn’t know there was always someone to ask for help.”