Former security guard Simon Hart felt completely demotivated when the pandemic began in March 2020. Relying heavily on festivals for his work, he feared they would stop because of Covid and was unsure what step to take next. With support from the WHP JETS programme, he soon realised there were other job options open to him which he had never considered.
“Before the pandemic I’d reached the point where I was hoping to find more stable security work because what I was doing was so seasonal,” explains Simon, 34. “But when the pandemic hit I couldn’t even renew my security licence. I felt at a total loss with what to do.”
Signing up to his local Jobcentre Plus, Simon – who lives in St Helens – was referred by his work coach to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered in North West England by Ingeus. It is commissioned and financed by the Department for Work and Pensions and deemed to be a European Social Fund match funded programme.
Assigned to Ingeus JETS employment coach Victoria Bostock, Simon soon became encouraged to pursue his career again as Victoria began looking into funding for his security industry authority (SIA) licence. And while she was organising the funding, she continued to encourage Simon to apply for other jobs.
Simon explains “Victoria was so good – I felt more motivated because of her. Even though she got the funding, she still pushed me to apply for jobs, regardless of what type they were. I was almost stuck in security before, but she helped me to see that I had more options and could apply for different things.”
To help Simon in his search, Victoria sourced a laptop for him to use for applications and enrolled him on a workshop which looked at interview questions and technique.
Now a call agent advising people about universal credit, Simon says: “Victoria gave me the resources and confidence to not worry about going for things I hadn’t done before. I’d never done anything in this capacity before and getting the job has really changed how I see my future career – I really won’t be as worried about applying for different things.”