A YOUNG woman from Carmarthenshire who spent up to four hours a day searching for employment has spoken of her delight at finally landing a job thanks to a new Kickstart scheme.
Kornelia Charkiewicz said her life was ‘stressful and frustrating’ spending hours a day trying for jobs which amounted to nothing.
But all that changed when she was put on the Kickstart scheme, run locally by Carmarthenshire County Council on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre.
Kornelia is now enjoying her new role as an administrator for local construction firm Morganstone.
The Kickstart scheme funds job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.
Local employers of any size can apply for funding to cover the cost of placements, training and employability support, National Insurance and pension contributions meaning the scheme is 100 per cent cost neutral to them.
Carmarthenshire County Council acts as the lead organisation for over 70 local employers.
It’s C4W+ (Communities for Work) team also works with eligible young people to help them gain work experience, write CVs and prepare them for job interviews.
“When I was fist told about Kickstart it sounded a bit too good to be true but when I was put into contact with them I honestly felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders,” said Kornelia.
“Life before was very stressful and frustrating. A typical day would include disappointment from the failure to get a response or interview from the day before, then spending three-four hours combing through job ads and filling out applications which would end with me getting an email back saying I was unsuccessful.
“This whole cycle lasted about a year and a half and it felt like my chances of actually getting an interview, much less a job, were nearly impossible.”
Kornelia was told about Kickstart by her local Jobcentre.
“It finally felt like someone was fighting in my corner - that help meant the world to me. Their help and encouragement never stopped, from the moment I first spoke to them to the moment I finally got my placement. They were always patient and willing to hear me out even if it was just to vent my frustrations on job hunting.”
She added: “One of the aspects which really helped was preparation for interviews - I’ve only ever had one interview so I felt a little overwhelmed, but thanks to the help of C4W+ I went on a course that was all about getting ready for employment and preparing for interviews. I was also able to do a mock interview with feedback from one of the mentors.
“This whole experience has made a massive difference to me. If not for this scheme I would most definitely still be looking for a job and feeling the negative emotions connected to it.
“Kickstart and C4W+ have really impacted my life in the best way possible and I will be forever grateful for the people I have met and the amazing opportunity I have been given.”
Kornelia’s placement employer Morganstone has also benefitted from the Kickstart scheme.
Hannah Breen, Corporate Social Responsibility and Training Manager for Morganstone, said: “The future of construction lies with the generations to come but skills shortages have been a worry in the industry for many years. At Morganstone we’ve always had a passion for promoting the industry to young people and providing them with the skills and opportunities to succeed - they have so much to offer and due to the current climate many have been unable to realise their full potential, that’s why as a company we were so keen to be involved in the Kickstart scheme.
“Our Kickstart experience has been a great success already, it has allowed us to welcome great young talent into the organisation. We’d really like to thank Carmarthenshire County Council for guiding us through the Kickstart process and helping us in recruiting Kornelia - their support has been invaluable.
“Our team were so impressed with Kornelia. Right from her interview she was really enthusiastic and had a passion to succeed and make a difference. It has been great to see her grow in confidence over the past few weeks. She has fitted into the team so well and we’re excited to see how her career develops.”
Local employers and those aged 16-24 and looking for work can get information about the Kickstart scheme at www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/kickstart
CommentsTo leave a comment you need to create an account. |