Employment Minister Visits To Meet Kickstart Apprentices At RSCPA

A Purrrfect Visit

In June 2021 the RSPCA Canterbury & District Branch team welcomed a group of Kickstart apprentices as part of the fully funded government scheme. Alongside their work, the Kickstart apprentices have been taking part in monthly mentoring sessions. These are delivered by world class athlete mentor and Commonwealth gold medalist, Claire Bennett, supported by national charity, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

The wellbeing and employability mentoring programme aims to build skills, improve confidence and self esteem and help the young people get ready for employment after the Kickstart apprenticeship scheme finishes. 

Kickstarting Confidence: Meeting the Employment Minister

During one of the mentoring sessions in October, the team had an exciting visit from the Secretary of State for Employment, Mims Davies. Mims visited the apprentices and was  keen to see the huge progress that the Kickstart programme was having on the young people and the charity.

Mims participated in a few activities, such as a quick cone grab icebreaker and a Dragon’s Den style activity that allowed Mims to get to know the Kickstart young people. After these team building sessions the young people really showed amazing new found confidence as they each delivered a ‘personal elevator pitch’ to a panel of judges whilst being filmed on what make them a great asset to the scheme and the RSPCA. The formidable panel included staff from the Department of Work and Pensions, RSPCA Branch Director and Mims herself! 

The young people in turn received feedback from the panel and it was clear what incredible progress each young person has made by becoming an apprentice for the RSPCA.

Official  KittenNaming

Mims was welcomed to a tour around the cattery to see all the cats and kittens that had found themselves at the animal centre. Not only did she get to cuddle some of the kittens but Mims and her team got to name three of the kittens in our care Mimi, AJ and Bill. All of whom were adopted the very next day! A dream!

Time to test the found confidence….again!

After a busy day, BBC South East news team conducted an interview with two of the apprentices Chantelle and Arthur, as well as an interview with Branch Director, Sarah. The apprentices were asked questions about how the past year, living with the pandemic and COVID-19 had affected their work life and what they thought of the Kickstart opportunity.

Thankfully for this group of apprentices – and many others across the UK, joining the Kickstart scheme through the Government programme has helped to teach them a number of skills and give them the confidence to gain employment after the apprenticeship ends.

For a small charity like the RSPCA Canterbury and District the skills, enthusiasm and ‘more hands on deck’ approach has been much needed, at a time when the rehoming centre and charity shops have never been busier.

If you are unemployed aged 18-25 and registered with the Job Centre then be sure to look out for the next round of Kickstart apprenticeship with the RSPCA Canterbury and District Branch that will be advertised shortly.

Tweet from Mims Davies; https://twitter.com/mimsdavies/status/1446231295659548672?s=21 

Tweet from Dame Kelly Holmes Trust: https://twitter.com/DameKellysTrust/status/1446476726415118343?s=20

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