A rapidly expanding PR and marketing agency has offered a full-time role to a young man who joined the company on the Government’s Kickstart scheme.

Leeds-based Loaded PR recruited Peter Lessani on the scheme aimed at helping young people aged 16-24 on Universal Credit who were at risk of long-term unemployment.

Peter, aged 23 and a computer games development graduate, impressed during interview and secured the temporary six-month role as an aspiring digital marketer.

Even before the six months was up Loaded PR founder and director Gemma Birbeck realised Peter’s potential and now the agency has offered him a permanent full-time role as Digital Account Executive.

Ms Birbeck said: “The Kickstart programme was aimed at helping both businesses and young people as the economy recovers after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Taking part in the Kickstart scheme was one of the best business decisions we have ever made, and we have found a star of the future in Peter.

“Young people just starting out in their careers have been hit hard over the last two years and Peter, like thousands of others, just needed someone to believe in them and give them that all important first opportunity.

“Peter grabbed that opportunity with both hands and has impressed every day with his willingness to learn and his unquenchable enthusiasm.

“What he has learned over the last six months has been immense and within weeks he was contributing to the team, our clients and the wider business.”

Loaded PR is a PR and Marketing agency specialising in multichannel marketing for B2B, tech and digital firms in the UK and a whitelabel UK PR partner for PR agencies across the globe.

Founded in 2019 by 34 year old PR director Gemma Birbeck, it provides a number of services designed to help clients get seen and heard by the right people, in the right places and in the right way, including but not limited to PR, social media marketing, content creation, email marketing and graphic design.

Peter joins a team which also includes Operations Director Kris Brook and PR account executive Ella Wilkinson, as well as three freelance PR professionals. The agency is currently in the process of recruiting a full-time Senior PR account manager.

Ms Birbeck added: “Peter is already a huge part of our team, and I am delighted he has agreed to join us on our journey. We can continue to grow and learn together.”

Peter said he was excited to launch his career and added: “I’d just like to thank Gemma and Kris for providing me with an opportunity when many wouldn’t.

“I had been turned down by many companies saying I lacked the necessary experience for an entry level position or that I was overqualified for others.

“It was a frustrating situation faced by many young people and led to a seemingly endless cycle of rejection. Everyone was at the start of their careers once and young people just need to be given that chance. I’ve learned so much already and it’s amazing to be part of a young and hungry team.”

Sinead McKervey, of Pegasus Search & Selection, the company which helped Loaded PR through the Kickstart scheme, said: “It’s great that Peter has found his perfect match with Loaded PR.

“He’s been a pleasure to support during the placement and was really motivated to do well. The Kickstart scheme has been really successful in helping businesses bounce back and has given employers the support and confidence to look at the incredible talent, often on their doorsteps, that would otherwise go untapped.”

Peter is now on a progression path to become a senior digital marketer and will undertake a two year digital marketing degree starting this year.