A national theatre school franchise has proved that the Kickstart Scheme, which creates jobs for 16–24-year-olds on Universal Credit, can be very successful.
George Darrall, age 24 from Cumbria, joined Razzamataz Theatre Schools via the scheme on 10th January 2022. With a BA Hons degree in drama from Manchester Metropolitan University, he was looking for his next opportunity. After the initial period, George was offered a full-time job as an administrative marketing assistant. We chat to George about his Kickstart experience and how he is settling into his new role.
How did you hear about Kickstart?
I graduated a few years ago and was looking to pursue either acting roles or creative opportunities. I left a part-time job to take a role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which couldn’t go ahead because of covid and various other reasons. I then found myself without anything to do so I applied for Universal Credit, which then led me to find out about the Kickstart scheme. I was a few days away from accepting a job as a support worker in the mental health sector when I saw an email from Razzamataz looking for a creative graduate. I was excited when this came up and from the minute I applied, it felt right.
What initially attracted you to Razzamataz?
I instantly recognised the name and remembered I had been to some of the classes when I was younger. I had been floating around for a while, not really knowing what to do, but Razzamataz seemed like the perfect fit because I wanted to be able to use my creativity in a business setting. I also strongly believe in the ethos of building children’s confidence through performing arts, having gone through the experience myself.
Briefly describe your role
The role encompasses many things and I’m learning a lot each day. I can be doing anything from designing graphics through to liaising with the franchisees. During my time at university, I did a lot of the marketing by creating posters using photoshop, which is something that I can bring to my role at Razzamataz.
How has Razzamataz supported you?
I feel hugely supported and was quickly made to feel part of the team. I’ve been taking lots of different training sessions, which are helping me to improve my life and employability skills. I’m also Type 1 diabetic, and Denise and Charlotte are incredibly supportive if I need to attend any appointments. There’s a real family feel within the company, which means everyone pulls together as a team.
What have your learnt and enjoyed the most?
I’ve learnt so much about franchising, which I just wasn’t aware of before. Razzamataz are experts in this field, and I’m learning just how much they look after their franchisees and exactly what needs to go into supporting them. Social media is obviously an important area of marketing for all businesses, and it is interesting to see how much time and effort Razzamataz puts into creating great content and ensuring they engage with their customers. Razzamataz has already instilled in me that it is important to ensure that you are doing all you can on your marketing channels. Razzamataz is a people business and I’m enjoying liaising with lots of different people and communicating regularly with Principals to assist them as much as I can. I take pride in doing all I can to help
What are you looking forward to in your full-time role?
As I progress withing the company, I’m looking forward to taking on more responsibility. It’s enjoyable to get stuck in and help my colleagues because there is always lots to do in various areas. It is great to work for a company that you really like everything they are doing.
What has been your overall experience of Kickstart and Razzamataz?
The name Kickstart really sums up what it offers. I was floating around for a while after graduating, not sure what to do. When you are young, you haven’t yet learnt the skills that you need to reach out and start searching for your ideal role. Being given the opportunity to work for Razzamataz has been transformative. It has given me confidence, broadened my horizons and given me a base of knowledge on which to build.