Graham feels as if all his dreams have come true at once. After just three months without work he has secured a role which ticks much of his ideal-job wish list, and offers the financial stability he desperately needed – and it’s all thanks to the Restart Scheme delivered by Ingeus.
Graham, from Prestwich, found himself out of work in October 2021, losing his job labouring on a building site due to the pandemic. Seizing his unemployment as an opportunity to change career, he was eager to pursue his ambition to become a kitchen porter.
The Government set up the Restart Scheme to provide tailored support to help people like Graham get back into work after the pandemic. Referred to the scheme by his local Jobcentre Plus, Graham began receiving help from Ingeus Restart Advisor Anita Walsh.
“Anita was amazing,” says Graham, 51. “She did everything for me. I had very little money and I’m useless with computers – she really listened to what I needed and worked hard to support me.”
Aware of his lack of computer skills, Anita helped Graham to improve and update his CV, ready to apply for jobs. Just two applications later and he was successful is securing a permanent position as a kitchen porter at his local social club – a role which was sourced by Nicolette Ward, another Ingeus Restart Advisor.
“I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been!” he exclaims. “It’s like a dream come true. I’m really enjoying the work, and it’s only five minutes’ walk from my home. Plus, I’ve got money now to pay for all my bills and everything else – I’m buzzing!
When Graham first signed up to the Restart Scheme, he was struggling with his finances so much that Anita organised support to help him until he received a regular salary. As well as regular food parcels, she also arranged for funding for shoes for his interview.
“Anita gave me some money to be able to go to buy some smarter shoes,” explains Graham. “It really helped me at the time because I couldn’t afford to buy them myself. I felt really depressed when I was out of work. Now, I can plan financially for the future.”
“I really can’t recommend Restart enough. If you’re out of work and struggling to find a job, then they’re the people to go and see.”
Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ingeus is delivering the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester and Central and West London and is partner to Serco, which is delivering the scheme in Central West Midlands.