Case Study

Helping Ben to find a brighter way forward

20 Jan 2024

Trigger warning: this content contains mentions of stillbirth and mental health.

Jobless young father Ben was in a dark place due to trauma in his personal life. He and his partner were grieving for their baby after a stillbirth and were both experiencing poor mental health. Ben, 30, lacked the confidence and motivation to find a job due to his personal struggles, which were compounded by his two children being taken into foster care. On top of that, he was also facing eviction from his home.
Shy and introverted, Ben kept quiet about his problems when he joined the Restart Scheme, delivered by Ingeus, for tailored support to find a job. The programme was set up by the Government after the pandemic to help people get back to work. Jobseekers receive advice and access to local jobs, while employers’ benefit from free recruitment services.
Ben, from Bow, London, had limited previous work experience. “I’d only ever had one job before, working as a kitchen assistant in a pub,” he says. “I was unsure at first of what to expect from the Restart Scheme, but once I sat down and spoke to them, I found they were very supportive. They did a lot for me, and I’m so grateful for all their work and effort to get me interview-ready. They provided me with interview clothes and also sorted me out with a mobile phone because I hadn’t had one for ages, I was using my partner’s phone.”
Ben was interested in returning to the hospitality sector, and his Restart Advisor drew up an action plan to help him improve his employability skills. Ben attended various open days for networking opportunities and to combat his shyness. He started working on his interview skills using the iWorks interview simulator and attending mock interviews. He also had employability sessions with an in-house trainer. After a couple of months, Ben began to open up about his situation at home. He was supported in obtaining right-to-work documents and was referred to social enterprise Beam for help in finding a home.
Despite several unsuccessful job interviews, Ben didn’t give up and took all the feedback on board, while Ingeus continued to support him in building his confidence. “I would recommend the Restart Scheme 100 per cent,” Ben says. “As long as you’re prepared to work with them, you will get somewhere. It took me a while to open up but I’m much more confident now.”
Ben’s resilience paid off when he was referred to a vacancy for a part-time cleaning position at a university – and got the job. Before the interview, his Restart Advisor printed out a list of typical interview questions and answers so Ben could practise at home. He was so happy to get the job that he told his advisor the good news straight away. Ingeus supported him with his first month of travel expenses to keep him going until payday. Ben says: “I’m now working as a cleaner and it’s brilliant, my colleagues are nice and we have a laugh. I’m feeling really good now I’m working, it’s so much better than sitting around at home, applying for jobs. I feel better about myself and it’s raised my spirits.”
Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ingeus delivers the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester and Central and West London and is partner to Serco, which delivers the scheme in Central West Midlands.

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