Award for Luton Kickstart job star who worked with vulnerable youngsters
The 21-year-old, who’s employed in admin at the TOKKO centre for vulnerable young people, was hired via the government’s Kickstart scheme.
Lewis was already volunteering at TOKKO when he was offered the position.
He’d previously worked in construction but had ‘a long hard think’ about what he wanted to do when he went to the Job Centre and felt his future lay in being a youth worker.
Lewis, from Bushmead, explained: “My Mum has worked in a nursery all her life and maybe that’s where it came from.
"I’ve been involved in summer camps and really enjoyed football coaching.
"Working and volunteering at TOKKO has been really good and is just so rewarding. And knowing you’re good at something gives you a sense of purpose.”
He said he’d been quite surprised to be nominated but was very happy to win the award.
Soon after hearing the news, however, he’d been told his six month contract at TOKKO would not be renewed because of funding problems.
Lewis admitted: “I went from high to low. But it will be good on my CV.”
DWP spokesperson Jasmin El Alami said: “The six- month Kickstart scheme is designed so young people can get the skills and experience they need to get the next role.
"With his enthusiasm and attitude I’m sure Lewis will do well.”
She added: “Recent research shows that seven out of 10 young people were in work four months after their placement ended. Any that aren’t will continue to be supported by their DWP Work Coach to get a job.”
> DWP’s Kickstart scheme has helped more than 17,000 young people in the South East to secure their first step on the career ladder.
It has worked with hundreds of employers to take on new talent, helping them create six-month paid-for roles so young people affected by the pandemic could get the vital work experience they needed.
It has also been a crucial help to businesses with many keeping young people on in permanent roles, including through apprenticeships.