The Government’s new ‘Kickstart Scheme’ (in response to Covid-19) gives businesses 100% funding to provide paid job placements to young people. As an official partner in the Kickstart scheme, Edventure: Frome can apply on behalf of local organisations, deliver the mandatory training, and provide support for employers. The first placements are now live and Edventure are welcoming new applications from local employers. It’s a win-win – local businesses get full grants as well as the opportunity to bring the energy and creativity of a young person/people into their team. And local young people get paid employment, a foot in the door and a weekly training programme with Edventure: Frome specially designed to support them to step towards a livelihood that matters to them. 

As Edventure want to contribute to a greener, fairer and more sustainable future for our local economy, they are supporting placements in the green / sustainable / community sector, as well as other businesses who are willing offer young people the opportunity to work on a sustainability project within the organisation as part of their placement. 

“I Dress Myself,” a Frome-based screen-printers specialising in eco-friendly, organic cotton garments with an ethical, sustainable approach are creating several placements with Kickstart: Frome. Founded in 2005, they were the first UK printer to exclusively use solvent-free, water-based inks for custom T-shirts. 

Hannah Conway,  Director of I Dress Myself says, “We’re really happy to be on board with Kickstart: Frome. It’s going to be really useful to have new recruits helping out over the next six months.  We’re confident that we can provide useful experiences for the young people who work with us on the scheme and are particularly excited about the eco-projects that they will work on for us.  Hopefully, some of the young people that work with us will choose to apply for a permanent position with us at the end of their placement.”

There has been a huge increase in unemployment amongst the young as a result of the pandemic with under 25’s amongst those hardest hit by furlough and redundancies. In a recent survey by The Prince’s Trust more than one in four UK young people said they had “felt unable to cope with life” since the start of the pandemic. In our small town alone, there are currently almost 300 people aged 16-24 on Universal Credit. Edventure: Frome were moved to set up the “Kickstart: Frome” project to support the young people they have close relationships with (and those they are yet to meet) many of whom have lost jobs and suffered from mental ill-health and as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The project is designed to provide hope for the future and the response from local businesses has been heartening. The project is creating job placements for local young adults across food production, retail, manufacturing, services, green building and sharing/repairing in and around Frome. The first wave of placements that are currently live include:

Cultivating Communities CIC (The Walled Garden at Mells): Sales & Propagation Assistant

Ecohustler: Shop and Marketing Administrator

Edventure: Frome: Marketing and Office Administrator

Edventure: Frome: Support Facilitator

Frome Town Council: Trainee Ranger

Good Journey: Researcher and Website Editor

I Dress Myself: Logistics Assistant 

I Dress Myself: Office Assistant 

I Dress Myself: Production Assistant

Rye Bakery: Admin Assistant

Somerset Community Foundation: Communications Assistant

The Bicycle Academy: Fabrication Assistant 

The Bicycle Academy: E-commerce Assistant

The Garden Cafe: General Sales and Takeaway Assistant

The River House: Commis Chef

Placements are open to people aged 16-24. To apply, young people should speak to the Job Centre in the Kingsway Precinct (please do not contact the companies direct). There are many more placements in the pipeline and Edventure will be listing them as and when they become live on www.edventurefrome.org/kickstart. 

Acknowledging that employing and supporting a new staff member to reach their full potential requires a lot of energy, Edventure: Frome have designed a programme to support employers every step of the way. It includes a specially designed, weekly training session for the young people; optional training and coaching sessions for the organisation itself and dedicated 1-2-1 support to help resolve any issues that may arise. They’ll also manage the application and paperwork on businesses’ behalf and provide ongoing support for the young person to find a job once the placement finishes.

The Walled Garden Nursery is a plant nursery with a social mission. They grow and sell perennial plants, herbs and retail products to fund a range of gardening and therapeutic horticultural programs within the ancient walled garden at Mells. They have created a placement for a Sales & Propagation Assistant.

Dr Sam Evans, Director of the Walled Garden says, “Working with Edventure on this Kickstart program is a really exciting opportunity for the Walled Garden at Mells. We like how a young person will not only get on-the-job training with us but will also have the support of the skills learning that Edventure will provide, to give them a really good work foundation. This was an important factor in us deciding to work with Edventure on this project. It also provides young people with a cohort of peers that they can build connections with, develop their own support networks and develop their professional networks as they build their work experience. We are particularly looking forward to working with a young person on a couple of eco-project we hope to put in place this year.”

Edventure: Frome are welcoming applications from any local organisation that is willing to allocate a few hours each month during the placement for their kickstart person to work on a project to increase sustainability and respond to climate change within the organisation. Edventure: Frome will provide training and support for each business’s sustainability project. 

Laura Emptage, Kickstart Programme Lead with Edventure: Frome says, “This is an exciting opportunity for both the young person and the employer. We will be working closely with employers and employees to support positive working relationships to flourish. We have designed a fantastic programme to support young people to learn new or build on existing skills and for them to realise their potential. We have some brilliant companies onboard offering really exciting placements, it will be an amazing experience for all involved. It really is a win-win situation!

If your organisation would like to explore creating a Kickstart:Frome placement to have a young person working with you, fully-funded for 6 months and if you’re interested in contributing to a green & fair recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, please check out the details at www.edventurefrome.org/kickstart or get in touch with Laura Emptage on [email protected] 

Edventure: Frome CIC, a not-for-profit community organisation working with young people and the wider community in Frome. Their mission is to help people step towards a livelihood that matters to them. They care about contributing to a strong community, growing meaningful livelihoods and building ventures as part of a sustainable, zero-carbon economy that works for all people in Frome. www.edventurefrome.org