A DWP programme to prepare Liverpool city region jobseekers for Kickstart roles at the Home Office went so well all 12 were offered roles on the spot without interviews. Tony McDonough reports
Young jobseekers taking part in Liverpool city region work academy programme were so impressive they were offered paid Kickstart placements on the spot.
Organised by the DWP and St Helens-based Genesis training, the Sector Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) held for the Home Office, saw 12 people aged 18 to 24 put on a short programme to build their skills and experience.
At the end of the process each one was to be invited to a guaranteed interview. However, the Home Office was so impressed by the quality and motivation of the applicants it made 12 job offers there and then.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the Kickstart scheme in summer 2020 as part of his Plan for Jobs. It offers fully-funded six-month jobs placements for young people aged 18 to 24 who are in receipt of Universal Credit. It offers either Minimum or National Living Wage. Each placement guarantees at least 25 hours a week.
Gary Bell, Merseyside employer & partnership manager for the DWP, told LBN: “The Kickstart scheme has been a great success. Good quality work has been provided for young people worst affected by the pandemic, with local employers, such as Brownlow Health and DT Building Contractors.
“In the New Year we’ll be concentrating on recruiting for the key industries in creative and media, construction and hospitality sectors with a jobs fair being held in Duke Street in Liverpool city centre on Thursday, January 13.”
On Wednesday, Liverpool training company I Am Moore urged employers to take part in the Kickstart programme before it closes for applications on March 31, 2022. Gary echoed this call, adding: “We still have lots of opportunities available which young people can find at https://findajob.dwp.gov.uk and searching for ‘DWP Kickstart Scheme’.”
Latest data shows that as of November 11, there were 171,292 people in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton, in receipt of Universal Credit – a rise of 0.5% from 170,368 in October.
Liverpool and Sefton saw the biggest percentage rises in UC claimants, both up 0.7% to 60,943 and 26,293 respectively. Wirral and St Helens both saw 0.5% rises to 30,535 and 18,795 respectively. In Halton the claimant count rose 0.3% to 15,610. Knowsley saw a small reduction in claimants, down 0.2% to 19,116.
Gary said the DWP had stepped up its support for jobseekers and businesses across Liverpool city region affected by the pandemic.
Through its ‘Plan for Jobs’ it has established temporary jobcentres in Duke Street in Liverpool city centre, Wavertree Innovation Park near Edge Lane and Bootle Strand, with extra work coaches offering jobseekers individual, tailored help.
The DWP has also recently met with the Comedy Trust, based at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool. This is a charity that supports people with social anxiety and confidence issues who have been impacted by the pandemic.
It uses comedy to raise confidence and self-belief and support with managing social situations. The organisation wants to work with DWP to engage with local residents for their upcoming programmes – more information about the Comedy Trust can be found at www.thecomedytrust.com
DWP in Merseyside is offering a number of recruitment and training projects including:
- A SWAP to support people into administration officer roles with Brook Street agency for opportunities at HMRC.
- A warehouse operative SWAP to support St Helens residents into opportunities starting in January 2022.
- Virtual training programmes via We Are Code Nation for positions with Sky, Barclays & the BBC in the IT sector.
And various roles available for production operative at CR Steel in Wirral, 7.5-tonne drivers/warehouse operatives with Tuffnells in Haydock, retail assistants with The Range in Widnes and cleaning operatives in Liverpool city centre at St John’s Shopping Centre.