'Learn something new everyday' Kickstarter tells all about DWP Universal Credit job scheme

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Last September, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed the creation of the £2billion DWP initiative which is solely focused on getting young people back into the workforce after the detrimental effects of the pandemic on the economy. During its initial launch, the Chancellor promised to create around 250,000 new jobs for young Universal Credit claimants between the ages of 16 and 24. Through the scheme, employers receive financial support from the Government to create six-month work placement for those receiving the benefit payment.

While on the scheme, claimants continue to receive Universal Credit payments throughout the duration of their placement.

At the end of the scheme, Kickstarters may be offered a full-time work contract by their employment upon finishing their placement.

However, this is never guaranteed and future applicants for the scheme should never assume they will have a full-time job at the end of the placement.

Ahead of the DWP job scheme’s one year anniversary, Universal Credit claimants are coming forward with their experiences as Kickstarters.

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UC job scheme 1

Universal Credit: Kickstarter shares experience on DWP job scheme (Image: DWP)

One such claimant is Brandon Cripp who finds himself “learning something new everyday” on the scheme.

The 19-year old from Hoo in Kent is currently working hard on placement with PLA Marine Services, which is part of the Port of London authority.

As part of the Marine Services team, Mr Cripp assists with giving support to commercial and leisure users of the river.

This role is suitable for him as it matches his past educational and professional experience prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Mr Cripp said: “I studied motor vehicle engineering at Bromley College and before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I temporarily worked on tourist boats in London.

“I first heard that the PLA had a kickstarter vacancy via my stepfather, who also works here.”

Soon after joining, he found himself being given more and more responsibilities, even though he was beginning as an entry-level employee.

“I started my six-month Kickstart placement with the Port of London Authority in Gravesend in May. In July, I was lucky enough to secure a contract on the PLA’s payroll,” he said.

UC explainer

Universal Credit: How much are you entitled to? (Image: EXPRESS.CO.UK)

“I have always been interested in cars and technology, and my family has long had connections with the river, so yes, working with the PLA is my dream job.”

According to Mr Cripps, the Kickstart job scheme has given him the opportunity to get practical experience in an industry he is generally interested in.

“I am part of the PLA’s Marine Services team, so therefore responsible for maintaining infrastructure along the 95-mile course of the tidal Thames, from Teddington to the North Sea,” he shared.

“Recently for example I have been working to help refit one of the PLA’s vessels, Driftwood II with a cleaner engine.”

For Mr Cripps, being a Kickstarter on the DWP scheme has been a helpful stepping stone in setting out a foundation for his future career and he hopes he will get the chances to stick around at PLA for well past the placement.

“It’s been great to be part of a team, doing something I enjoy, learning something new every day,” he said.

“Hopefully my contract will be extended at the end of the year.”

Universal Credit claimants interested in applying for the Kickstart job scheme should contact their local DWP office, such as a Jobcentre, as soon as possible.

Roy Walsh

Roy Walsh

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