Two Sheffield charities have joined forces to change the futures of young people across South Yorkshire whose lives have been blighted by the pandemic.
Sheffield Futures, which has been supporting young people to achieve their full potential for 25 years, has linked with The Source Skills Academy to help 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit into work via the government’s Kickstart scheme.
Kickstart gives paid work placements which could lead to regular jobs or apprenticeships.
The Source, a leading Sheffield City Region skills trainer, is a Kickstart Gateway Provider and has already helped over 150 local businesses to sign up. More than 300 placements are now open.
The two specialist organisations want to make it less intimidating for young jobless people to come forward - and are pledging to support Kickstarters throughout their six months in the workplace.
“We have partnered with The Source to bring our award-winning emotional wellbeing expertise to their Kickstart employability package, which gives recruits training and qualifications while they work,” said Alexander Leonard, employment engagement co-ordinator with Sheffield Futures.
“Good mental wellbeing leads to better-motivated, more fulfilled employees and improves the chances of young people maintaining sustainable employment.
“A Kickstart placement could be life-changing. It is a chance for young people to show their potential, grow in confidence and learn useful skills.
“But they need help to come forward. The pandemic has had a big negative effect on them. Our mental health and wellbeing service Door43 launched two years before COVID-19 hit and clients are now dealing with much more complex issues.”
Sheffield Futures, which plans to set on Kickstart recruits in Communications Assistant and Assistant Youth Worker roles, will be giving all Kickstarters on The Source’s Employability Packages monthly check-in calls from qualified wellbeing practitioners throughout their six-month journey.
They will also be inviting them to take part in workshops to learn how to manage their physical and mental health and share their thoughts and experiences with other Kickstarters through regular online forums.
Dale Robinson, director of business development at The Source said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Sheffield Futures. Together we can do more to help young people who have been badly affected by the pandemic lockdowns and feel there is no hope for them.
“The lives of thousands of local 16-24 year-olds will be changed by Kickstart and the wraparound support we can now give.
"It begins before they even apply for a post and continues throughout their placement. They will gain training, gain qualifications and have support from the team at the Source.
In addition, Sheffield Futures will be looking after any wellbeing issues they might have and towards the end, both charities will work together to help them make their next steps in life.”
Young people can find out how to apply by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: The Source’s Kickstart tutors Amanda Smith (left) and Vicki Eadson are pictured at Sheffield Futures’ mental health and wellbeing service Door43 with Employment Engagement Co-ordinator Alexander Leonard