Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Celebrating Success: Kian finds his way into a sector he loves

  • Thursday, November 3, 2022

The Growth Company was a Kickstart Gateway organisation supporting participants through 6-month paid placements with a wide range of employers. Kickstart is now coming to an end, and we’re using this time to celebrate our successes with the scheme.


Hill’s Panel Products

Oldham furniture manufacturer Hill’s Panel Products took on three young people, all of whom have since successfully progressed into permanent roles with the company, beginning their careers. We spoke with Dan Mounsey, Marketing and Business Development Director, who told us about his motivations for taking part in the Kickstart scheme:

‘We have a strong history of working with our local community and supporting young people, and we saw the Kickstart scheme as an opportunity to bring in new skills following the COVID pandemic’.

The three Kickstarters had little or no work experience prior to joining HPP, but over the course of the six-month program, they developed good working relationships with their colleagues, learned while on the job, and gained and gained constructive feedback. Alongside the Kickstarters’ working hours, they also each undertook employability training with The Growth Company, which included CV writing, one-to-one careers advice, and practising realistic job interview scenarios.

Abdul, 22, Oldham, says ‘I felt welcomed into the team from the beginning, like I was part of it. Working here I’ve developed my organisation and time management skills, and I’ve matured as a person.’

Matthew 25, Oldham, impressed his new colleagues so much he was nominated for a national Kickstart award for his contribution, and has progressed into a role fulfilling nationwide orders, while also providing IT support, which reflects his skillset. He told us: ‘Having got a chance to work here, I know there will be even more opportunities down the line, which is exciting.’

We leave these three young new starters at Hill’s Panel Products at the beginning of their careers- confident, fully trained, and ready to advance in the world of work.


The Growth Company

In spring 2021, in addition to helping hundreds of young people take on Kickstart roles with employers across the country, we at the Growth Company employed 25 of our own Kickstarters.

Fatima, 23, from Rochdale, joined the Business Growth Hub’s Quality and Compliance team in April 2021. With little work experience and having moved to the UK from Pakistan just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fatima worked hard and soon became a valuable member of the team. We are proud to say that Fatima has gone on to secure further opportunities within the Growth Hub, and continues to grow within our company.

Fatima says: ‘After I left my life in Pakistan, the pandemic was a scary time and made it really difficult to meet people. My interview with The Growth Company was my first proper interaction! ‘The six months flew by, and I knew I wanted to stay with GC so in the last couple of months of the placement, began looking for jobs here.’

Fatima’s experience is indicative of how the Kickstart scheme can really change a life- Fatima arrived from outside the UK, and had little work experience. But through the scheme, her career has now flourished, and her drive and determination has cemented her a job she now loves.


The University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool took on 41 Kickstarters, with Jess Sanders, Graduate Transitions Consultant looking over them and making sure they were all doing well. We asked Jess about her ambitions when she signed up for the Kickstart scheme, and she told us: “Kickstart allowed us the unique opportunity to expand our workforce with graduate talent beyond our university, and with young people who have never worked or studied within an HE environment before.”

We had the opportunity to speak with participant Kian, who found Kickstart to be a great stepping stone to place him into his preferred industry of medicine (through Medical Training Accessories). Kian went from entry level, to caring for, stockpiling and completing logistics for a large range of Medical Training Appliances and Accessories, used daily by the medical students of the university as part of their Medical Simulation Training. It’s an important job, and one that could see him into a career working in other training hospitals and universities across the country.

Kian said “I’ve enjoyed working with my team, the job is really rewarding- it’s a career I never expected people could just enter from a base level like I have.”



In summary, the Kickstart scheme has helped many young people make their first steps into the working world, helping to rebuild the gap in hiring made by the pandemic, and infusing new blood into businesses that need it. We wish all Kickstarters long and happy careers within their chosen fields!