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Suffolk Libraries helping to kickstart careers

A year after Suffolk Libraries joined the Government’s new Kickstart Scheme, several young people now have a job within the organisation with more recently joining the scheme.

The first group of ten young people taking up Kickstart roles at Suffolk Libraries recently graduated with many having secured longer term employment with Suffolk Libraries. Some have found work elsewhere or gone on to further education.

A second, larger group of young people has also now joined Suffolk Libraries in a variety of roles with new opportunities for a third group of Kickstarters becoming available soon.

The Kickstart Scheme offers a 6-month paid job with a local employer, funded by the Government. The aim is to provide a fully funded job opportunity for young people to gain experience of working in a diverse range of organisations and to help young people who have been disadvantaged by the effects of the pandemic.

The young people taking up roles at Suffolk Libraries have learnt about the diversity and impact of the services it provides. Suffolk Libraries also set up its own comprehensive programme of learning and development for the Kickstart placements, covering subjects such as communications, creativity and innovation, health and wellbeing, technology and help with applying for jobs. This programme has been so successful that another local organisation has been using it to help develop its own Kickstart placements.

Farrah Crowe was a Kickstart Trainee at Bungay Library and now works at Lowestoft Library:

“I honestly can't name just one best thing about Suffolk Libraries. I have enjoyed every single minute of working in the library, completing all six learning modules, and joining in on the group training days. I feel like I can take so much from this experience and hopefully use it in the future.”

Lucy Neill recently became Suffolk Libraries new Web Assistant, after a six-month Kickstart placement at Hadleigh Library. She said:

“My experience with the Kickstart scheme at Suffolk Libraries has been nothing but positive. My placement and the support for my personal development helped me grow in confidence and allowed me to learn new skills which I’ve been able to apply and develop in my new role. Working alongside the community at my local library as a Library Service Trainee gave me a great sense of purpose and fulfilment. Because of the Kickstart scheme, I’m now working in an exciting role where I get to learn new things every day, and I’m confident that this position will give me a solid foundation for my future career aspirations.”

Nilima Banerji, Suffolk Libraries Kickstart Coordinator added:

“The Kickstart Scheme has been a fantastic success for Suffolk Libraries – helping to transform young people’s lives but also bringing fresh perspectives, creativity, and positive energy to the organisation after months of lockdown.”

Bruce Leeke, CEO of Suffolk Libraries, said:

“We’re delighted with the contribution of our Kickstart placements. We’ve offered them a variety of roles including working with frontline staff in libraries, working with our Arts Programme, with our stock team and our business development team. We wanted to ensure they got something meaningful from working with Suffolk Libraries and understood the breadth of what the library service offers both to the local community and also as an employer.

“It has been brilliant to witness these young people grow in confidence as a result of their work at Suffolk Libraries. We’re delighted that so many have stayed on with us or found other opportunities.”

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Kickstart scheme at Suffolk Libraries, you can speak to your work coach.