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An experienced retail manager and honours graduate, Rebecca Bryan suddenly found herself unemployed during the winter lockdown. Find out how training at GTG through the Kickstart scheme has prepared her for a fresh career path.

Rebecca at GTG Training

‘I found myself unemployed, during lockdown, in the middle of a pandemic. It was a difficult time.’

Rebecca Bryan has experienced the low of losing her job, a loss felt all the more keenly during the middle of a national lockdown.

Now, she explains how she is hoping to take her career in another direction, thanks to both the Kickstart scheme, and some industry-leading training from GTG.

Rebecca is benefitting from Kickstart, a government-funded sign-up scheme which GTG has signed up to help deliver. It is designed to give young people who find themselves claiming Universal Credit, the chance of a six-month work placement and the opportunity to learn the skills required to embark on a new career, or to step into their former industry with fresh skills and knowledge.

Starting her training journey in May 2021, it was something of a readjustment for Rebecca to begin a placement and train to be a recruitment advisor after more than eight years working in a management role for a large-scale clothing retailer.

This long-term experience in today’s workplace, coupled with an honours degree in Festival and Events Management from Edinburgh Napier University, clearly made Rebecca a prime candidate for the workplace re-entry scheme, but she feels she has still learned a lot from the courses she has accessed during her four months with GTG Glasgow so far.

Rebecca said: ‘Since joining GTG through the Kickstart scheme, I have had great opportunities to train. I have taken a Communication Skills course, a two-day course focusing on strategies to improve all aspects of communication. At the start, we set personal targets we wanted to achieve, and the course was tailored towards these. Some of mine were to notice non-verbal cues in an interview situation, a skill which is especially important as a recruiter. This has been very handy for myself and the other members of my team during the successive lockdowns when interviews have been done over video call.

‘Another personal goal was to develop my ability to ask open, closed or probing questions, and thanks to the course, I feel I have made a lot of improvements in this area, too.

‘The Communications Skills course at GTG has massively helped me build my confidence, especially with the placement work I have been doing since. As a recruitment advisor, I have conducted more than 100 interviews with potential independent garage apprentices – the kind of work I had very little experience of in my retail career.’

And what does Rebecca think of the Kickstart scheme for others in the same or similar circumstances to her own?

‘It’s a great opportunity for young people who are looking to start their career and for those who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Being employed via the Kickstart programme gives young people a chance to get into employment, whether this is their first job, or whether they are re-entering employment.