The Isle of Wight Council is seeking 45 young Islanders to become new staff members and join 11 other young people who have already joined the team.
The council has announced a range of new opportunities for Island youngsters currently on Universal Credit, funded by the government’s Kickstart programme. Paid at up to £8.91 an hour, each job is for 25 hours a week and will last six months, giving valuable experience and building good work habits. The roles come with a full programme of training and support, including computer working, interview skills, and mental health and wellbeing.
One new staff member, working at a local school, has been inspired to train to become a teacher. Another has been taken on with extra hours to do work for WightCare.
Jade has already started work as a Project Co-ordination Assistant. She said: “Since starting as a Project Co-ordination Assistant two months ago, my confidence has skyrocketed. I’m developing new skills every day, and it’s great to be able to challenge myself, while knowing I have a supportive team there to guide me along the way.
“If it weren’t for Kickstart I wouldn’t have known a role like mine existed, but now I’ve already realised it is an area of work I really enjoy and would love to pursue a career within.”
The council’s Kickstart co-ordinator, Katy Harwood, explained: “After Covid, and with furlough coming to an end, we know that some young Islanders are struggling to find good jobs.
“So we, at the Isle of Wight Council, have set up a lot of new jobs which cover many areas of our work, from media and communications through to adult social care. These are actual jobs with training and work experience on offer – and we pay a real wage too.
“If you’re interested, you need to speak with your Work Coach at Jobcentre Plus.”
Chris Jarman is the councillor responsible for resources. He said: “The Kickstart programme is an excellent opportunity for employers to provide young Islanders with a gateway into productive employment. We want to inspire more young Islanders to consider a career working in public service and with eleven enthusiastic new staff already working for us, we’re off to a great start.
Julie Jones-Evans, councillor for regeneration, added: “As one of the leading employers on the Island, we lead by example. I hope that other employers will take advantage of the scheme, and offer these positive and timely opportunities to our young people.”
Picture Katy Harwood, the council’s Kickstart coordinator, is hoping to welcome more recruits to County Hall.