22-year old Keiran Joseph has been working at Central YMCA Club on a 6-month work placement aimed at helping him gain skills and work experience to set him up in his career. His role is part of the Government’s Kickstart Scheme which supports young people and the wider economy by funding the hiring of unemployed young people aged between 16 and 24.
Edgaras Lindinas, YMCA Club Manager says it’s important to hire Kickstarters because “we want to support young people in our community and give an opportunity for young and talented people to develop their skills and progress in their career. Keiran has been doing exceptionally well in such a short time and his dedication to the Club and our members is phenomenal. He has really pushed himself and the fitness industry is a great fit for him.”
Looking for a new purpose
Keiran lives in Islington and, as he was a full-time carer for his Mum until the start of this year, he hadn’t had a formal job for two years. Looking for a way back into the world of work and for a new purpose in his life, Keiran found out about the Kickstart scheme through his local Job Center.
He had previously tried a variety of different jobs such as painting and decorating but hadn’t settled on a career path and had never considered a career in the fitness industry. He even applied to the role without initially knowing it was for a gym but said that:
“Working here has given me a passion and when I finish my contract I’d like to try and join an apprenticeship to gain my qualifications in health and fitness and personal training.”
Learning a lot
“I have been able to learn a lot about the gym and the work goes into maintaining it. My duties include helping members on the gym floor, taking inventory, cleaning and disinfecting equipment to make sure that it is covid-safe, getting the studios ready for classes and uploading classes online.” This eagerness has impressed his managers and Keiran has already led a warm up for a class and is practicing leading a Sculpt class in the next few weeks.
“I’m happy because there are plenty of opportunities to learn here. I would say the best part of my work placement is being able to work with all types of people and how everyone is willing to help with anything and are able to keep your spirit high. The staff are all friendly and members are easy to talk to and get along with.”
Leaving an impact
“I feel as though working in the Club has left an impact on me because I have been able to grow my confidence and my ability to approach and speak to people who I am meeting for the first time. Working in the Club has also helped motivate me on my physical health which has in turn been able to help make me feel better mentally as well as making me more open to trying activities I would have previously thought were too much for me to handle.”