Young people on work placements at Chatsworth set up to address rising youth unemployment have praised the valuable experience with several now progressing into permanent roles.
The Devonshire Group created a number of six-month placements under the Kickstart scheme last year across the garden, catering, farmyard, textiles, collections and wider operations at its Chatsworth and Bolton Abbey Estates.
Now several of the young people who have completed their placements have been offered permanent jobs. The good news looks set to continue with further roles being offered to others due to complete their Kickstart placements over the coming weeks, while other candidates successfully used the experience as a launchpad into related employment elsewhere.
Kickstarters Beth Cartwright and Georgia Wilson, who have been taken on as Collections Assistants, found the placements were an invaluable experience.
Beth said: “I’ve really enjoyed my placement here at Chatsworth, I’ve learned lots about conservation and what goes into keeping a collection. This is something I never thought would be available to me and I’m thrilled to be staying on full time.”
Georgia added: “I have learnt so much about the work that goes into running and maintaining a heritage site such as Chatsworth. I am delighted to now have a job as a result of my placement, allowing me to continue working in a field I love, and gain new experience.”
Chatsworth’s Head of Textiles Susie Stokoe said: “ Kickstart has been a great way to bring young people into the workplace giving them the flexibility to work in positions they may not have originally thought of.”
Over in the Chatsworth Farmyard and Adventure Playground, Josh Nicholls will be joining as an apprentice and Jordan Henshaw now has a permanent job as Farmyard and Adventure Playground Assistant.
Melissa Underwood, Farmyard and Adventure Playground Manager, said: “Kickstart has been a great programme and it has been a pleasure to watch our Kickstarters grow in confidence and gain new skills in a variety of ways.”
Farmyard apprentice Josh said: “I’ve had lots of fantastic support from everyone at Chatsworth. I’m absolutely thrilled to be starting an apprenticeship and look forward to learning more about animal care.”
Jordan added: “I feel like I’ve learnt a lot. The placement has also improved my general agricultural knowledge and I enjoy sharing the farming story with visitors. I feel brilliant about gaining a permanent job and look forward to the start of lambing and the new season.”
With Sustainability such an important area for the Devonshire Group, Tom Hendry was keen to create a high quality placement for a young person in this area. Following a successful placement, Ella Thompson has now been offered a full time role.
She said: “I knew I wanted a job where my work could contribute towards supporting the community or environment and that’s what sustainability is all about. I was happy that this placement allowed me to build experience and then continue into a permanent role, as I felt very welcomed here by colleagues. I hope to continue to become more confident and get involved in more sustainable initiatives.”
Nathan Fairhead, Talent and Training Coordinator, Devonshire Group, said: “We are thrilled at the progress of our Kickstarters and the attitude they have shown to working with us. They have thrown themselves into their placements, becoming valued members of their teams. We are very excited for how their experience with us will influence their careers, especially those who will remain with us.”
The Government’s Kickstart Scheme is open to young people aged 16 to 24 who are receiving Universal Credit, and at risk of long term unemployment.
About The Devonshire Group – www.devonshiregroup.co.uk