A Salford businesswoman is using her reiki centre to help unemployed young people back into work. 

Kristy Lomas, owner of The Ki Retreat in Eccles, is using the government’s kickstart scheme to encourage 16-24-year-olds to get back into employment.

The holistic therapist is using the program to offer those who are currently out of a job and on Universal Credit, a chance to be a ‘multi-functional assistant’ that can learn as they go.

The Ki Retreat is an award-winning wellbeing center offering a wide range of therapies like reiki and meditation. Owner Kristy spoke about her own experience of being young and finding it hard to get job offers and how she wants to give young people professional help to get them on the employment ladder. “I remember being at Uni and not really being able to get my foot in the door with the industry that I wanted to work in.” Something that is frustrating for young people who want to work, but are not receiving offers that reflect their work and efforts. 

When discussing the importance of offering opportunities like this to young people, Kristy expressed: “I think it’s really important especially for young people now because there is so much out there and so much noise about having to get in employment that it’s really hard and competitive to find placements within an industry that you want to work in. I thought that it was a really good way for young people to gain experience and then be able to go back into the working world with new experiences. I wanted to be able to give people the opportunity to learn new skills and also experience different work environments.”

The wellbeing centre has no requirement for applicants to have an abundance of experience. Owner Kristy expressed the importance of this.” Applicants don’t need any experience at all. It’s very much a learning journey for both myself and the applicants. They receive all of the training on the job, for example, one of employees was trained up to be a reiki therapist, we worked together. It’s ongoing, so we chat, we meet up and see how the role’s progressing, how they’re feeling about it, and also the skills training on the side such as CV building and interview techniques.”

“I think it’s really important to offer roles like this to people that might not necessarily have access to these sorts of opportunities because it completely alienates such a massive range of people and I do believe especially in the wellness sector, it usually is people who have quite a lot of privilege who are able to integrate themselves within the wellness community. So it’s been really rewarding to work through this program and offer opportunities to people who wouldn’t necessarily have that experience.”

According to: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/kickstart-scheme

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

The funding covers:

Employers can spread the job start dates up until 31 March 2022.

“The advice I would give is just do it, because you don’t know what is going to happen; and probably more practical advice would be to read up on the company, see if you fit with their ethos, if it’s a place you could see yourself working, and enjoy it!”

To find out more about The Ki Retreat visit their website.

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