As a Gateway for the Government’s Kickstart scheme, which aims to get unemployed young people into meaningful work, the Employment team at HOT work with a variety of business and organisations. One such organisation is local community group, Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub.
Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub (TLCCH) is a local group which campaigned to save the old Todmorden Community College building from demolition and have now re-opened it as an exciting new venue for education, cultural, and sporting activities. The new Tod College is run by the community, for the community – generating its own income by hiring out rooms to local groups to run exercise sessions, adult education, youth groups, art classes, a repair café, and a school for sustainability studies.
As a conscientious employer, they are committed to promoting sustainable employment within their borough and were made aware of the Kickstart incentive through their relationship with the Employment Services Team at Halifax Opportunities Trust, who are a Gateway for the scheme. 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. Two placements were created – one to support and develop administrative systems and the other to assist with the practical management of the building, maintenance, improvements, and health and safety functions.
“We were delighted by the response to the adverts for these posts, and very happy to have recruited two local young people to the roles. Kyle and Brandon are making a great contribution to the development of the new College. They not only came with some relevant skills but are both quick to learn, enthusiastic about their jobs, and are helping to make sure that the place is welcoming and accessible to the whole community of Todmorden,” said Centre Manager, Julie Thorpe.
“The Kickstart trainees have helped us to move forward with our plans for the centre much faster than we would otherwise have been able to do. They also bring a younger perspective to the way we do things here and the atmosphere here. This is so important to ensuring we reflect the needs and interests of young people in our activities.”
“I got onto the Kickstart scheme after getting recommended to it while doing work experience for Todmorden Learning Centre and Community Hub. The Kickstart placement has given me the opportunity to learn a variety of useful and interesting information, which helped to develop my existing skills, through the CPD short courses provided by Halifax Opportunities Trust,” explained Administrative Assistant, Kyle McGuigan.
“Overall, I am thankful that the Kickstart scheme has allowed me to join the staff at Tod College, I have thoroughly enjoyed every day that I am in work and have never had a complaint about the work atmosphere or my colleagues. This is surprising to me as prior to the course I was struggling with anxiety, including social anxiety, making speaking with people troublesome and difficult. However, work here at Tod College has helped me to push through my anxiety and become more comfortable with speaking with others, even when placed on Reception which I initially was worried about.”
Assistant Facilities Co-ordinator Brandon Law said: “Kickstart was a great opportunity for I would have never known that Tod College was hiring if it weren’t for Kickstart. I am really enjoying my new role in maintaining the building because I like to work with my hands. It is different every day and makes me feel like I am contributing to the community when I see the people who use a room I prepared for them.”
“I am also grateful for the experience and training my work has provided as I am learning new things every day and I am now first aid trained which is something I wanted to do for a while. It has also been a great opportunity to meet many people from my community and make some new friends along the way,” said Brandon.
To find out more about the Kickstart scheme, please contact Lisa Connelly at Halifax Opportunities Trust on 01422 347392