Restart Scheme sets the wheels in motion for John
16 Jan 2023
John’s childhood dream is finally coming true. For almost 25 years he held the ambition of working in a car garage, and now Ingeus’s Restart Scheme has given him the help he needed to get his career motoring in the right direction.
When John, now 40, left school, he hoped to start an apprenticeship as a car mechanic. Unable to achieve his goal, he began working life as a postman before drifting from one job to another – each time knowing it wasn’t quite where his heart lay.
“My varied CV might sound impressive,” says John, from Wigan. “But I’ve always had a passion for cars and all I’ve ever wanted to do is work with them.”
Finding himself out of work over six years ago, John’s dwindling confidence meant he struggled to secure a new job. In July 2022 he was referred to the Restart Scheme by his work coach at his local Jobcentre Plus. The Restart Scheme was set up by the Government to provide tailored support to help people get back into work after the pandemic. With tailored support from Restart Advisor Lisa Ward, John began his journey back to working life.
He recalls, “I’ve got ADHD and when people try to push me to do things I become quite stubborn, but Lisa had a way of coaching me through things.
“She was patient and kind with me throughout my time on the Restart Scheme. She has the gift of the gab and moved me in the right direction, I can’t thank her enough!”
One of John’s main barriers to finding work was his lack of confidence speaking on the phone. Realising this, Lisa supported John with phone calls, from registering with his local doctors to organising driving lessons – another ambition he longed to achieve.
John says, “She did so much for me it’s difficult to remember it all! She even helped me get clothes for my work trial. She really was amazing.”
Lisa contacted local garages on John’s behalf, building a relationship with the owner of John Atherton Autos Ltd who agreed to John carrying out a work trial. Impressing them so much during his six days, he soon secured a job as a full-time Garage Assistant.
John’s employer says, “John is doing great, he’s very hardworking and reliable. We like to help people who have a passion and help them to develop and do their best, even if they have no experience.”
Lisa adds, “I am so proud of John! This is an achievement I will always remember.
“Thanks to this amazing local garage John has a full-time job. What a turnaround for him – it’s the best feeling knowing I have changed someone’s life like this.”
With his practical driving test imminent, John is looking forward to a brighter year ahead. He says, “I can look forward to so much more independence now, both financially and with my car. The Restart Scheme has changed my life. It’s a dream come true!”
Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ingeus is the lead provider of the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester and Central and West London. It also partners with Serco, to support the Restart Scheme in Central West Midlands.