Kickstart scheme helps Liz support Suffolk's inspiring women

Students creating a Human Tower

Students from a Kickstart Scheme with Dance East - Credit: Ania Kapsa

A 23-year-old woman has been able to channel her creative passion into supporting women in the region after being among 70 young people supported through the Kickstart scheme.

Liz Breame is one of the students who took on the Kickstart East Anglia scheme and has gone on to work for Future Female Society in the town.

Liz Breame smiling at camera

Kickstart scheme former student, Liz Breame, now working with Future Female Society - Credit: Future Female Society

The 23-year-old said: “It has allowed me to gain experience in a job that I don't feel would be open to me otherwise.  

“It has allowed me to use my creativity, work for an amazing not-for profit that aligns with my values and manage my own time. I also have met some amazing, inspiring women throughout my time with the company, and I am continually learning off them.

“I have always been a creative person, I never thought I would be able to use this in my job though, it's always been a hobby. I feel so lucky and grateful to have this opportunity to work for Future Female Society.” 

The Kickstart scheme was launched by the Department for Work and Pensions in September 2020 in response to an expected surge in youth unemployment, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The aim is to create high-quality six-month work placements for those aged between 16 and 24, who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, through funding provided to employers to create new jobs, therefore aiding in post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Students listening to a teacher

Students listening to Dance East teacher - Credit: Ania Kapsa

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Over the past 12 months, Kickstart East Anglia has supported 67 placements, with many young people moving into longer-term work or education opportunities as a result. 

Aston Howe from Creative Arts East said: “We have been delighted to work with our consortium of employers across the East to offer such a wide variety of positions in the creative industries to young people over the last year.” 

“The Kickstart Scheme has successfully culminated in nearly 70 young people developing new skills, working in professional environments often for the first time, and forging new career paths.” 

Richard Pye, the Kickstart company manager for Dance East in Ipswich said: “The scheme allows them to benefit from a safe environment to utilise and hone their skills in a paid professional role. 

“It acts as a stepping stone for these young, talented and qualified individuals to try and test themselves and step into professional work.

Students sitting on floor

Kickstart students from Dance East having a class - Credit: Ania Kapsa

“From our last four Kickstarters, two of them have received project grants from Arts Council England to pursue their own choreographic work. Another has been working for a choreographer that they met and worked with as part of their Kickstart role with us.  

“All of them are successfully freelancing as teachers, performers and choreographers in the Dance and Lifestyle industries." 

There are still over 40 placements available to sign up for before the deadline of February 28. 

Have a story to tell about working with or living as a young person in Ipswich and Suffolk? Contact Tom Cann at tom.cann@archant.co.uk