The NPA and Reed have helped to get more than 500 young people work placements in community pharmacies across the country.
Since the launch of the government funded Kickstart scheme last year, which supports 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term employment, the NPA has been working with recruitment agency Reed to enable independent pharmacies to take part in the initiative.
So far they’ve helped over 520 young unemployed people to gain work experience and undertake training in pharmacies.
A recent survey undertaken amongst a sample of Kickstarters currently in placements within community pharmacy has revealed the following:
- Almost 60% would like to work in the pharmacy where they undertook the placement/ or another pharmacy once the placement finishes with just under 30% already having been offered a permanent position in the pharmacy
- Eighty per cent of Kickstarters felt more prepared for entering the world of work as a result of the placement
- Around 60% felt very well/well supported throughout the placement.
When asked why they chose to work in a pharmacy for their Kickstart placements, respondents said:
- ‘Helping people is so rewarding.’
- ‘New experience and really enjoy working in the pharmacy.’
- ‘I wanted to work in a pharmacy after I completed my GCSE's and I have stuck with this goal. Now I am currently studying to become a qualified dispenser and move up the career ladder. I enjoy the work and development it provides, and I love making customers happy and providing healthcare advice.’
Kickstarters were also asked to provide feedback on their overall experience. They said:
- ‘There is continuous support and motivation throughout the scheme.’
- ‘Although at times it may have been stressful, I enjoyed the experience and gained many life-long skills.’
- 'It’s been a pleasure working in the pharmacy. I enjoy it. Every day is different and I’m always learning.’
- ‘Really enjoyed it. I am very fortunate to have been offered a permanent position.’
Training offered to Kickstarters
As part of the placement, Kickstarters are offered the opportunity to undertake Reed Employability training and the NPA’s Medicines counter assistant training course.
To date, there have been 411 enrolments onto the NPA’s GPhC accredited eLearning course. Eighty-three Kickstarters have completed the course (20%) and now have a GPhC accredited qualification, as well as transferable skills, as a result of their placement. We expect this figure to increase over the next few months as Kickstarters finish their placement.
Reed confirms that over 185 Kickstarters (just under 40%) have so far accessed its Employability training.
Louise Baglole, the NPA’s Director of Professional Services and Development said: “We know that the scheme has been beneficial to our members, but its aim was to provide young people with work experience and training to prepare them for entering into the workplace.
“It is therefore encouraging to see so many young people taking up opportunities in community pharmacy, enjoying the experience, completing training and gaining new skills.
“We are pleased that to see that a large percentage of those surveyed feel more prepared for entering the workplace as a result of their time as a Kickstarter in the world of pharmacy.”