Things are heating up in Paulette’s kitchen. After losing her job because of the pandemic, the 58-year-old Londoner is realising her dream of launching her own catering company – thanks to the perfect blend of her own talent and ambition, mixed with support from Ingeus’s JETS scheme.
Paulette, who has worked in the restaurant industry since 2014, was referred by her local Jobcentre Plus to Central London Works, Work and Health Programme Job Entry Targeted Support (CLW WHP JETS), a programme delivered by employment specialist Ingeus which offers tailored advice and support to people in receipt of Universal Credit who are seeking work. Paulette was supported by Self-Employment Work Coach Abrar before being transferred to Julia.
“I was working as a chef in a restaurant when it went out of business last year,” recalls Paulette, who migrated from Jamaica in 1994. “I’ve worked in catering for many years and always thought about setting up my own business, but I didn’t know how. JETS really helped me to go in the right direction.”
With a passion for cooking Jamaican food, Paulette had a clear goal of starting her own Caribbean catering company. Receiving help from the JETS self-employment team – from registering the company to organising leaflets and marketing – meant Paulette was able to make her dream a reality.
Cooking food to order from her own home, Paulette is pleased to have her ambition underway. Currently she’s only serving customers at the weekend, while she completes a two-year business management course during the week. Just three months after registering her company: Mama P’s Taste of Comfort, with HMRC and she’s already achieving a small turnover.
She says, “I’m really happy with how things are going. JETS really pushed me to do the things I hadn’t thought of so far, like opening a business account and having my own website. Without their help I’d be struggling, they made it so much easier for me.
“The team do an excellent job. They make me feel at ease and confident in myself, they praise me when I do something well.
“In time, I would love to open a restaurant, but you have to start from somewhere to get where you want to go!”