Keaton had previous part-time and full-time work experience but over the last year struggled to find a job during the pandemic.

When his work coach from the local job centre told him about the Kickstart scheme with Boots, Keaton was immediately interested despite having never worked in retail before. He believed the six-month paid job placement would be an opportunity for him to gain vital experience at a massive company, while improving and developing the skills he needed to grow as an individual.

Keaton said: “I agreed to the Kickstart placement because I saw an opportunity to get my foot in the door with a massive company that can help me grow as a person. I probably would never have applied for this type of role before, but once my work coach told me about it, I knew getting the chance to work for Boots was something I had to grab – especially after being unemployed for a year.”

Kickstart has allowed Keaton to not only increase his knowledge and understanding of the retail industry but is helping him to learn practical skills he will use throughout his career such as managing his workload and organising a diary.

While Boots focuses on the practical work experience, Keaton is also receiving support from The Prince’s Trust who are running workshops and one to one sessions throughout his placement.

Keaton added:

It’s been great to have the support of The Prince’s Trust as well as Boots during my placement.

"The employability workshops are teaching me skills that I can use in any workplace and combining this with the experience I’m getting means I’m positive about the future."

The Kickstart placement is a chance for me to showcase my talents and prove I can be a valuable employee. Once you’re in it, it’s important to make yourself seen for all the right reasons and capitalise on the opportunity – so I can improve my skills and grow my career. I feel like I’ve got my life back on track.