A young person from Sunderland has secured an apprenticeship with a life-changing local charity after impressing during her Kickstart placement arranged by Sunderland College.
Chelsea Leng-Adams, 21, joined Back on the Map in April 2022 through the national initiative which gives young people vital employability skills by providing funding to employers to create jobs for 16 to 24 year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Demonstrating a positive attitude and desire to learn during her six-month placement, where she supported in running community events and projects to enhance and transform people’s lives in Hendon and the East End of Sunderland, saw her offered a Community Activator Apprenticeship.
Chelsea said: “Before the Kickstart placement, I was studying at university but wasn’t enjoying it as all the teaching was online at the time.
“My placement at Back on the Map has offered the perfect environment to grow both as a person and from an employment point of view too. From my first day I felt welcomed, respected and part of the team.
“I’m really looking forward to getting started on the apprenticeship and seeing where it leads.”
Born out of the Deal for Communities programme, Back on the Map has been working for ten years and is passionate about enhancing the quality of life for people living in and visiting Hendon.
Community Services Manager, Pat Johnston, added: “Back on the Map is committed to creating opportunities for local talent to be developed in our area.
“Chelsea was one of two Kickstart young people we took on and we’ve really seen her grow with us in terms of her confidence. She has developed skills in running events and supporting community projects and works with our senior staff on our family provision due to excelling in working with children and young people.
“Since starting with us as part of the programme, Chelsea has taken it all in and shown time and time again that she is more than capable. She is a quick learner, willing to learn and able to put into action new skills with no problem at all. The apprenticeship will give Chelsea the opportunity to develop in the next stage of community engagement.”
Launched in 2020, the Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16-to-24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.
Roles offered under the scheme must be new jobs that do not replace existing or planned vacancies or cause current employees, apprentices, or contractors to lose or reduce their employment.
During their six-month placement, employers must also ensure the young people develop their employment, teamwork, organisational and communication skills for the role, while supporting them with CV writing and interview preparation and training.
Rebecca Storey, Business Engagement Manager, said: “Education Partnership North East is proud to work in partnership with Back on the Map in both training their new and existing workforce, through the Kickstart Scheme and supporting their tenants.
“Chelsea is a perfect example of how the Kickstart Scheme has supported young people into fulfilling employment with fantastic employers. Chelsea has proven herself an invaluable member of the team at Back on the Map and we are confident she has an exciting future ahead.”
Earlier this year, Education Partnership North East was recognised for its role as a Gateway Organisation for the Kickstart Scheme by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for supporting dozens of young people into employment over the past two years.
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