Joe Dickson, 20, Kickstart trainee at Unipres

20-year-old Joe Dickson is working as part of the Quality Assurance team at Unipres – a global company which has a plant in Sunderland, manufacturing parts for the car industry.

He got his role through the Kickstart Scheme, which offers six-month work placements for people aged 16 to 24, who are currently on Universal Credit.

My role involves doing quality checks on a lot of different car parts. You get training on each one separately and you check for any non-conformities and raise any concerns with the team leader if you spot anything that might end up stopping the manufacturing line. You get your parts signed off and ready for collection to be sent to Nissan.

Before the Kickstart programme I was unemployed and looking for work. There was a lot of appeal to this role – I like how systematic everything is and it helps you get a good idea of the rest of the factory so if there were opportunities to go into different departments you already know a bit about them. So for example if you went into the manufacturing line, making the parts, you’d already know a bit about them as you’ve been checking them.

I’ve learnt to be more active in respect to timekeeping, and I like learning about things like the different types of metal and welds – I never knew there were so many types of welds.

After the placement ends I hope I’ve done enough to show I have the experience to be taken on at Unipres. I’d like to get a qualification in engineering because I’ve always been interested in it and there’s a lot of money in it.

Looking for a job? There are hundreds of vacancies in the North East through the government’s Kickstart scheme. See job vacancies.