Cathedrals have been helping young people on the path to employment by joining the Government’s Kickstart initiative.
Cathedrals join the government Kickstart scheme
Helping Young People Find Hope. Lichfield Cathedral has helped almost 30 young unemployed people find work placements across the region after it set itself up as an employment hub, part of the Government’s Kickstart initiative.
It created 46 new six month job placements for 16-24 year olds in the region – including in the Cathedral and with partner organisations such as churches in the Lichfield Diocese.
Roles ranged from grounds maintenance to children’s workers and marketing assistants – all providing valuable work experience from one of the age groups hardest hit by the pandemic.
Simon Warburton, Executive Director of Lichfield Cathedral explains: “As the situation with the pandemic worsened in 2020 it became apparent that young people would be some of the hardest hit by these turbulent times. We discussed how we might give them hope for their futures and we are proud tgo have been part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme to have been able to help out these young people and hear the difference it has made to their lives.”
Ben Butterfield, Kickstart Project Manager, who implemented the programme for Lichfield said: “For many young people who were seeking employment, we’ve had the opportunity to offer them real employment, helpful experience and new challenges in a supportive environment. Some of these young people have already gone on to permanent employment elsewhere, and we are delighted for them.”
Gabriella: “In 2019, I began the year homeless. All the stress and bad environment caused me to end up in hospital, which meant I missed my exams. Finding work was difficult to say the least, but I landed in work as a care assistant for the elderly. This was a very stressful career and upon reflection I realized that I wanted to work with children. Kickstart has made this possible. I am now a children and youth assistant for St Matthews Church. Thanks to the scheme, my future is now full of hope.
Leila: “In June 2021, I finished my degree at the University of Derby. During my time there I decided that I wanted to go into marketing. I began looking for opportunities that would give me some experience in this area and that was when I came across Lichfield Cathedral’s Kickstart opportunities. These 6-month placements offer those who are 16 – 24 the chance to gain valuable experience, and in July I was offered the position of Marketing Assistant. During my time here I have helped promote some amazing events including The Great Exhibition and The Cathedral Illuminated, planned the day-to-day social media content and was able to complete two marketing courses in social media and copywriting. This has given me the experience I needed and more for a future career in marketing.”
Nicole: “In July 2021 I begin working at Lichfield Cathedral as their ‘Tours and Box Office Assistant’. I had limited experience of the working world as I was a recent History and Politics graduate from the University of Liverpool who had been training to become a history teacher. It is my first time out of education and working at Lichfield Cathedral is the best transitional experience into the workforce that I could have hoped for. Although working in an office was never somewhere that I saw myself working in it has turned out to be an invaluable experience that I might otherwise have overlooked if it was not for the scheme.
Coventry cathedral took part in the Kickstart scheme – they recruited a Nave Floor Support, working primarily in the Welcome Team but also supporting the Events and Maintenance departments.
They teamed up with their local Chamber of Commerce who supported the cathedral with the process and provided support to the employee too.
Coventry had a great deal of interest in the role with several candidates applying before they interviewed their successful recruit, Tharani, who graduated from an Architecture degree in 2020. She joined the team as a permanent employee in January.
A spokesperson said: “She took to the role brilliantly and was gaining a lot of relevant experience from her time with us, and we made her a permanent employee in January when her six month placement ended.”
St Edmundsbury Cathedral
Also used the Government’s Kickstarter scheme and offered a six month term for an Archiving and Office Assistant. This role was working in the Cathedral office as part of an ongoing archiving project and to provide some administrative assistance where needed. While in the role, they gained experience of working in an office environment and learning key administration skills.
Kickstart is a government funded employment initiative consisting of 6-month job placements to help 16–24-year-olds gain work experience and employability training.