Lewis’ Kickstart Story: From Universal Credit to Permanent Contract
Meet Lewis. He’s so much more than a block caretaker for Stockport Homes – he’s driven, punctual and a valuable team member to name a few. But, realising all of this took Lewis on a journey around the houses and through the job centre – this is his story from Universal Credit to permanent contract.
“I had a very bad upbringing. In school my behaviour struggled, and I left without any qualifications. My first job was helping a friend with labouring for 10 hours per week and earning £72 but unfortunately, I was made redundant. My only previous experience with universal credit was when my sister claimed for me when I was younger, so it was tough. I tried to secure work, but I got nowhere.”
Lewis was introduced to Jamie, employment team leader for Stockport Homes, at a local jobs fair and it’s here where he first heard about the Kickstart Scheme. Jamie notes all the early signs of Lewis’ commitment and positive attitude were there: “I knew that I could recommend Lewis to the Managers at Stockport homes, he had a lot of potential to grow.”
After working on his CV and transferable skills from earlier jobs, Lewis felt confident going into the interview and secured a placement with Stockport Homes’ environmental team as a caretaker.
“I loved everything about it; a job that I really enjoyed, regular support from Jamie and I wasn’t sat around all day without any money. The placement has provided me with new life opportunities, and I just wanted to carry on impressing my managers and colleagues.”
There really is no substitute for hard work - Lewis is the prime example. Expecting to walk back through the job centre doors once his 6-month placement ended, his work ethic and newfound skills were enough to persuade Stockport Homes to offer him a full-time job…
“When I found out I had a full contract here, I was buzzing – so happy with myself. I thought I’d be jobless once the placement ended, but now I can say I have a full-time job with Stockport Homes!
I feel like I can speak to my colleagues about anything. I see them as family. This has helped me become better with approaching people and speaking to them with confidence. When I have people pushing me and telling me I can do something, I do it. I didn’t even have a provisional driving license before, and now I’m going to do my theory.”
Lewis sees Denise (pictured) as his 'work mum'.
Residents have noticed their blocks being really clean since he has been in post.
Lewis is relishing each day, and plans are already afoot to progress his career down the line.
“When I was younger, I had nothing. So now I have regular money, I just want to make sure I’ve got everything. A lot of my colleagues are team leaders who used to be caretakers, so it just shows you where you can get to.
I recently had feedback from two residents who said their block is so much cleaner since I started. For them both to come down from their home and tell me that, I must be doing something right. Every single day I’ll go in and make sure that I do absolutely everything, so it’s spotless for the residents.
I love working for Stockport Homes. When you’re working in the block, every day is different and that is really satisfying… I’m a tenant too, so it feels like a full circle.”