Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility


26 February 2021

Meet Caitlin

I have felt really part of the team from day one.


Plymouth Business Support

After finishing school, I enrolled into my local city college to study for a BTEC in Travel and Tourism. My dream had been to pursue a career as cabin crew… I guess I don’t need to say any more than that at the moment! Like for many, March 2020 changed everything, and I found myself learning remotely to finish my course and gain my qualification.

I felt totally at a loss of what to do next; what were the options available to me? How could I get a job with no work experience? How could I feel a sense of purpose or that I was contributing? After some encouragement from my family, I reluctantly (I say this because I still feel like there is a stigma around it) applied for universal credit at the job centre.

It was whilst at the job centre that the Kickstart scheme was mentioned to me for the first time. I hadn’t heard of it before so had no idea what it was or what the job entailed. I had however heard of REED and decided to go for it.

I started with Reed in Plymouth in November, I’m a few months into a 6-month contract and I’m really enjoying the experience. The work itself is mainly administration and supporting the consultants with various support they need. Whilst I am of course based at home, I have felt really part of the team from day one. We have regular catch up calls on “Teams” and my Manager, Peter, has put together a training schedule for me which we go through, along with any other updates for that week.

Meet Megan

I felt so comfortable straight away and all my previous fears... just melted away.


Leeds Candidate Care Team

I’d finished my A-levels and thought right… what’s next? Well, everyone goes to uni don’t they – so I guessed that was the right option for me. In terms of what to study, I felt like I would get the most out of studying for a subject I enjoyed so I went with Sociology.

Initially I really enjoyed uni life, I made good friends and took to the social side and being away from home easily. I just couldn’t quite settle into the work, so I switched to Zoology. I soon realised that actually my mental health wasn’t in the right place, and probably hadn’t been for a while. I was really worried about how I’d be viewed as a “uni drop out” – what would I do next? How would it affect my future? But I knew my mental health and wellbeing needed to be my priority and so with the support of friends and family I left university for a break.

I felt ready to return to university just before COVID-19 hit… I was going back and forth as to if I was going back for me, or because it felt like that’s what I should be doing. I made the tough decision to listen to myself and left university for good. It wasn’t easy, I was searching for work every day and, due to my lack of work experience, I was hitting a brick wall with my applications. Even most Apprenticeship schemes were all over-subscribed or on hold.

Contributing to society and keeping my brain active is important to me, so I began searching through the job centre. My contact Donna advised me of the Kickstart scheme and that there was an Admin role available with REED. I didn’t hold out much hope, but I applied. The very next day I got a call from Gladys, who is the Regional Manager for Reed Health & Care.

Soon after my first call, I had a telephone interview with Gladys. I felt so comfortable speaking with her straight away and all my previous fears of not having any experience in the workplace just melted away.

What's Kickstart?

Kickstart provides funding to create new job placements for 16–24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

Find out more about the scheme via our Kickstart page.

Management View – Health & Care

A candidate care team was launched last year and within that team are 3 new recruits placed with us through the Kickstart scheme. The new team is based in Leeds and covers all of Reed Health and Care East of England with the aim of supporting the consultants and managers to improve the candidate experience.

Regional Manager Gladys Wright and Area Manager Aileen Powell have found the experience can present its challenges but is wholly rewarding for all…

Gladys Wright - Regional Manager

“When we went out to recruit for this team, we wanted to find people with a positive approach to work. Experience wasn’t the top of our list – in fact the three Kickstarter’s we did hire possess various levels of work and educational experience.

“Tenacity and a positive mindset was really important here as there are lots of challenges ahead of them; learning remotely being the most obvious, but also getting a handle on the compliance and systems. Having limited or no work experience really hasn’t dampened their ability or willingness to learn - each Kickstarter has demonstrated a strong work ethic so far.”

Aileen Powell - Area Manager

“Like anybody joining your team, you want to ensure that they feel confident in what they are doing. The dynamic is of course different with limited work experience, but the principles are the same. Investing time in people means you will all benefit in the returns and achieve a successful partnership.

“The clue is in the title with the Kickstart scheme, the manager and employee could “Kickstart” a career – which is a humbling experience. I’ve really enjoyed the knowledge exchange and being able to learn from one another. Our company purpose is ’improving lives through work’ and I can’t think of a better example than the one we have here.”

More than a Placement

I hope for me this can be the start of my career with REED and within the Reed Health and Care division. My confidence is growing all the time, I do feel like I’m part of the REED family – not that I’m part of a scheme and then disposable. People here really care about what I’m doing, I feel valued and that Gladys and Aileen who hired me really want me to do well here.


The Kickstart scheme is designed to provide more than a simple work experience. In addition to gaining valuable on-the-job training, participants also receive additional training around employability skills to help prepare them for work beyond the placement – whether that be with the employer or elsewhere.

What really surprised me about starting my first office job is how warm and welcoming every person I have come across has been… I have felt truly part of REED from the very start. I’d thoroughly recommend the Kickstart scheme to anyone considering it – my own experience has been a purely positive one.


Kickstart placements can only be filled via referral through the job centre – More information can be found on our Kickstart page.

Should you wish to apply to any vacancies directly, we welcome applications from all backgrounds to work at REED.