By Cassie Galbraith, 31.08.2021

A bit about me.

I graduated University feeling anxious and ill prepared for the job market. I knew competition would be high and that a degree doesn’t necessarily promise a job at the end of it. I think we can all agree 2020 was a difficult year and one we had not prepared for. I studied International Tourism Management and had hopes of graduating and landing myself a degree related job. As months went past I realised just how tough the job market had become, let alone the tourism industry. I found myself applying for Universal Credit to support me through my job hunt.

So the hunt for a job began. I applied to a wide mixture of roles, ranging from entry level roles, internships, retail and hospitality. Many of my friends were in a similar situation, this made me realise just how tough the job market had become. Many jobs I had applied for had gone on hold due to Covid, this resulted in me broadening my job search even more. As months went by, I remember hearing the dreaded news of the third lockdown. This announcement made me start to believe I was never going to find a job. Job hunting itself began to feel like a full time job. Dealing with the mixture of tedious applications followed by what felt like countless rejections began to have an impact on my motivation.

Hearing about the Kickstart Scheme.

My spirits got lifted however when I was informed of the Kickstart Scheme by my Job Centre work coach. Hearing it was for those aged 16 – 24 and on receipt of Universal Credit felt too good to be true. It felt nice to be seen and I instantly started to be referred to any Kickstart Schemes that I felt would improve on my experience. Knowing that there were actions being taken to support young people getting into employment was a great piece of news that I needed to hear. I was surprised at just how many Kickstart Schemes took my interest and the wide range of ones that were available. I told my work coach that I was interested in marketing and tourism and felt Kickstart Schemes in those industries would be an amazing opportunity for me. I liked the idea of a 6 month placement to gain more work experience and further boost my employability. I became more optimistic and began sending off applications to an exciting mixture of roles. I noticed that I felt more supported when applying to the Kickstart schemes and found myself landing interviews. Being on Universal Credit opened up this opportunity to me and I felt my drive crawling back in. I was almost used to companies not offering me interviews so it felt like a refreshing change. The process of applying to the schemes felt more personalised and quick. I found myself pleasantly surprised when checking my emails and having employers getting back to me.


At last, a job!

Just weeks later I landed myself a position as a Digital Marketing Specialist at People and Their Brilliance. I already feel at ease knowing I am gaining valuable experience in an industry that I have hopes of pursuing. I have had the opportunity to meet other colleagues on the Kickstart Scheme, we all share that sense of relief that we are now working. I feel more supported and excited for my future as a result of being eligible for the Kickstart Scheme. I understand the frustration of job hunting and as a result I feel grateful to be given this opportunity. After all the times I was told no, it only took one yes. I did not expect to graduate University to then end up on Universal Credit, however now I realise the opportunities it has presented for me. I look forward to the training I will receive in my new role and am curious to see what these next months have ahead for me. Often on my commute to work I reflect on my job hunt, I have learnt not to give up and how important it is to keep going. The light at the end of the tunnel now seems brighter for me.

If you are interested in applying, then why not take a look at the variety of Kickstart Schemes that we have available at People and Their Brilliance via the jobs portal? People and Their Brilliance can support you throughout your journey to get back into work, just like they have supported me.