Edventure: Frome are seeking local businesses to become part of “Kickstart: Frome” – a pioneering group of employers coming together to support local young people, create meaningful jobs in our town, and contribute a greener, fairer and more sustainable future for our local economy.

The Government’s ‘Kickstart Scheme‘ (in response to Covid-19) gives businesses 100% funding to provide paid job placements to young people. Edventure: Frome are partnering with local organisations to access the scheme together. 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, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, get paid employment, a foot in the door, and a weekly training programme with Edventure specially designed to support them to step towards a livelihood that matters to them.

There has been a huge increase in unemployment amongst the young as a result of the pandemic with under 25s 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 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 Covid-19. 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 & around Frome.

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

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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.”

 

Acknowledging that employing and supporting a new staff member to reach their full potential requires a lot of energy, Edventure 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

Laura Emptage, Kickstart Programme Lead with Edventure 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! “

Edventure have previously been partnering only with local organisations in the green/community sector, but they have announced this week that they are now welcoming applications from any local organisation that is willing to allocate time during the placement for their kickstart person to work on a project to increase sustainability within the organisation. Edventure will provide training and support for the sustainability project.

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 Covid-19, 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