Sharing real-life experiences on the Kickstart Scheme

This week we sat down with Kickstarter, Iara Cavaca and her manager, Jay Crabb to discuss the impacts of the Kickstart Scheme. Below you will hear first-hand the benefits the scheme has had on both the business and young people looking to kickstart their careers!

Iara’s comments:

How has the Kickstart scheme benefitted your skillset?

I feel like the Kickstart scheme has allowed me to learn a lot of valuable skills and adapt to situations that I had previously not been well-prepared for. It has allowed me to improve skills that I previously had such as Excel. It has also pushed me out of my comfort zone in a way that has allowed me to become more confident.

What have you learnt within your employability training?

I have learnt a lot about the best ways to communicate with others and creating goals. I have also learnt how I could improve my CV. I have been able to refresh my English and maths after not having gone over them I several years.

What have you enjoyed most about the scheme?

The Kickstart scheme has provided me with a range of opportunities. I have been able to expand and improve on my knowledge and adapt it to a working environment. It has made me a lot more self-assured in my abilities.

How have you found your work placement?

My work placement has been great. I have enjoyed the work I do and have learnt a lot. I have been lucky to have a very supportive team around me that have been incredibly helpful and encouraging. I feel like the Kickstart scheme was a great way to start my work career and I’m excited about my next steps!

Do you feel equipped for your next steps?

Yes, I feel the Kickstart scheme has equipped me with the necessary skills to progress my career forward.

Have you felt supported while completing your 6-month placement?

Definitely! Everyone I have worked with has done a lot to help me. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to learn about different sectors within the business. I have been provided with a lot of assistance and can always ask for help if I need to.

Do you have a success story you would like to share?

When I first started at PTS, I was initially working 25 hours a week. Over time, I have demonstrated my ability to learn and work hard. This has resulted in the business increasing my working hours to 33.5 hrs a week between 2 teams.

Have you overcome any challenges along the way?

I have become more confident in myself as I’ve had to communicate with clients and that was something I struggled with at the beginning. It has been a journey to learn how to best communicate information to people with a lot of different personalities and characteristics.

How would you rate the scheme out of 10?


Here’s what Sales Manager, Jay had to say:

Have has the Kickstart scheme impacted the workplace?

The scheme has opened a pathway for individuals to access real roles, but more importantly shown us as employers the tremendous amount of hidden talent that is out there!

As a manager, how do you feel Iara has helped the team?

Iara has been an outstanding employee and is an ambassador for the Kickstart scheme. Part of her role is to manage and coordinate our customer’s Kickstart programmes – which enables her to give real-life experiences and help to employers and potential learners alike. This adds a tremendous amount of value to my team as it shows we ‘walk the walk’ and believe in the schemes we represent.

What have you found the most rewarding about the Kickstart scheme?

The scheme has allowed support individuals back into employment and help them gain the necessary skills to start a new phase of their career.

What have you enjoyed the most about having Iara working under you?

Iara has continued to develop and take on board all feedback. However, it is the hidden skills such as her IT ability that we as a company discovered Iara already had as she has developed throughout the programme. These untapped skills have been a real joy to see and watch Iara support the PTS team in different departments.

Have you seen a development in her skill set?

Iara has always been polite with clear communication skills but was very shy when she joined. Iara biggest development has been the integration into the team and has become a real personality in the office that supports the wellbeing and positivity in the business.

Would you take on another kickstart?

Yes of course!

Would you recommend the Kickstart scheme to other employers?

This is a real resource to grow and develop their workforce, whilst supporting in decreasing the current unemployment rate.

What has it been like managing a Kickstarter?

It has been a pleasure. It has been rewarding watching Iara continually thrive in the work environment and support the PTS team in many departments.

How would you rate the scheme out of 10?


It was a pleasure speaking to our colleagues and learning how positive the Kickstart scheme is working for everyone involved. As we come out of Covid 19 and the Government continues to support our young people into employment, it highlights that with guidance and support businesses can recruit a loyal and dedicated workforce.

To find out more about the Kickstart scheme, visit GOV.UK.