Ballroom champ Ryan waltzes into work
5 Apr 2021
For talented Ballroom and Latin dancer Ryan Ward, losing his part-time job at a dance centre stricken by the pandemic not only took the spring from his step, but his regular income too. Realising he needed to put his best foot forward to find work, signing up to the new WHP JETS programme
soon had him dancing with delight.
Ryan, who is 23 and lives in Liverpool, has been an avid dancer since he was a child and is a well-known name on the competition circuit. He worked in the dance centre’s reception and bar for four years, while also completing a Masters degree in International Relations. His plans to return and study a PhD in 2020 were also thwarted by the pandemic and as he struggled to find work, he found himself increasingly reliant on his house-mate sister for financial and emotional support.
He was referred to the new WHP JETS programme by Hyton Jobcentre Plus and was immediately contacted by Ingeus employability coach Megan Birchall.
“I was completely taken aback by the speed of response,” recalls Ryan, “and Megan was so friendly, reassuring me that she could help in areas where I’d been getting nowhere on my own.
“Ingeus had access to vacancies that were immediately available and after a quick polish of my CV, Megan submitted it on my behalf to the employers Ingeus works with. It was so quick! I soon had two job offers on the table, subject to a pre-recorded video interview, which once again Megan offered to support with. I was back in work within three weeks, having been unemployed for nine months.”
Ryan now has a 12-month customer service contract, and plans to pick up his studies in the future with a view to following a research or academic career. His love of dancing is, for now, restricted to online classes.
“I think the trick is to be flexible in your approach, to both dancing and job hunting,” jokes Ryan.
“I just needed to earn an income and ride this storm until the world returns to normal. Working has given me back my sense of independence and self-respect. I’m very lucky to have a close family that could support me, but I’m delighted that JETS could help me so quickly. It was fast and friendly, perfect for me right now, a real Quickstep!”
Ingeus, working in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is delivering the Work and Health Programme (WHP) expansion for Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS). It is co-financed by the European Social Fund.