Birmingham mum Katy put her career goals on hold for 19 years while she concentrated on raising her five children. When her youngest child was old enough to go to school, Katy began to dream of doing something for herself.
After 12 weeks of searching for a job, Katy’s work coach at Jago House Jobcentre Plus in Solihull referred her to the WHP JETS programme. The Work and Health Programme Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme is delivered in the West Midlands by Shaw Trust in partnership with Ingeus. JETS is commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and receives support from the European Social Fund.
Katy, 39, had previously worked in retail but wanted a complete change of direction. With a future ambition to work as a teaching assistant, she was keen to land a job in an educational setting. After being referred to JETS, things moved very rapidly, as Katy explains: “I’d had my introduction to JETS and was starting the online courses, when I was offered a job interview.”
Katy’s interview was for the role of lunchtime supervisor at a Birmingham school. Her Employment Advisor at Shaw Trust referred her to Ingeus for help with preparation for the interview – and Katy was contacted by Ingeus Employment Coach Geeta Sood. They had a one-to-one mock interview and skills session on Teams to help ensure Katy would be well prepared on the day. “Geeta gave me lots of interesting information about what kind of questions to look out for. That really helped,” says Katy. “She also encouraged me to do some research about the school.”
Katy put the advice into practice when she attended her interview, and she was offered the job the next day. She is now looking forward to starting her new role. “I feel excited, not nervous at all. I’m looking forward to getting back into work because it’s been such a long time,” says Katy. “Eventually I want to try to become a teaching assistant.”
She adds that her family are proud that she is going back to work. “I’ve told my kids it’s never too late to start something, so now I’m being a good role model for them. They are happy I am doing something for myself.”
The timely help and support Katy received from JETS through Shaw Trust and Ingeus has proved invaluable – and she couldn’t be more thankful. “When I asked for help with my interview, they contacted me the next day. The service is brilliant,” she says. “They give you assistance, but they also give you a sense of belonging. You don’t feel alone, trudging through your daily job search; they empower you.”