Karmal on how he discovered the Creative Kickstart opportunity at MMF:
My background was in retail and I’d worked in that area for about 5.5 years, but towards the end I was starting to get interested in moving into the music industry. I had several interviews, but was regularly rejected because I had no experience and people would just tell me ‘you can’t do this’.
Then earlier this year I was made redundant. I was in a vulnerable position – I had no job, I didn’t particularly want to go back into retail yet the industry I wanted to go into, I had little to no experience in – and that’s where the Kickstart scheme came in.
It was quite a weird experience for me because since leaving college I’ve always worked, then I was put in a position where I wasn’t working, and I had to go into the job centre and tell them about my experience and what I wanted. I remember my Job Coach asking me what I wanted to go into and I said ‘anything music related’. I was doubtful that I would find anything to do with music, but lo and behold MMF and the Kickstart scheme came along and, through my work coach, I was able to find an opportunity in the music industry.
Karmal on the impact of the Kickstart scheme:
I’d say the programme has helped me build up my self-confidence and my self-belief again, because you can be good at what you do, but if a lot of people say no to you and tell you don’t have the experience, it can be quite a downer. So the Kickstart scheme has allowed me to build up my self confidence and go into an industry that I’ve not been in before and use my transferable skills I gained from retail. I’m so grateful – this is everything I’ve wanted to do and it’s been such an amazing experience.
Advice to employers taking on a Kickstarter or an employee in a similar scheme:
Just do it! You’ll be helping someone just like myself to gain an opportunity where they might not have been given an opportunity before and there are no cons to it, you’re getting someone in your team who will help support the organisation and you may potentially fill a hole in your team that you may not have realised was there before.