When 44-year-old Lucy from Blackburn was made redundant during the pandemic, her confidence was at an all-time low. Despite having years of experience in laboratory work for the chemical industry, she had begun to doubt her own competence. Believing her career was at an end, she decided to look for jobs that required no formal qualifications.
Lucy’s work coach Sahra at Rawtenstall Jobcentre Plus referred her to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered in Blackburn 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.
During an initial call with lead employment coach Thomas Rutter, Lucy raised concerns about how JETS could help as she had not heard of the programme before. She was struck by Thomas’s enthusiasm and skilful line of questioning, which helped her realise she should not rule out returning to a career in chemistry. Lucy then began working with executive employment coach Bev Nickson.
“Bev was so encouraging and optimistic, she believed right from the start that there was a perfect job out there for me and we would find it in a very short space of time,” says Lucy. Bev encouraged Lucy to use Ingeus’s online employability platform iWorks and update her existing CV to satisfy automated CV readers. “I think iWorks is an amazing package of resources,” says Lucy. She was also given help with interview techniques and joined group Teams meetings with other participants to hear their success stories and challenges.
Bev had to persuade Lucy to sign up to LinkedIn as she was reluctant to join – but it turned out to be a game changer. “I was very resistant to LinkedIn, and that was wrong in this modern world,” says Lucy. “I’m quite a private person and LinkedIn seemed like advertising yourself and being boastful. I fought Bev tooth and nail but I have 100 per cent had to eat humble pie as it’s through LinkedIn that I found the job I am in now – that was genius!”
It all happened when Bev tagged Lucy into a job she had seen on LinkedIn. The job was not local to Lucy but the recruiter called to say they would put her forward for a senior chemist role near Blackburn. Lucy was offered an interview at short notice and Bev helped her to prepare. The interview was a success and Lucy was offered the job on the same day.
“It’s a great job at a great company and it’s not far from where I live – I can’t believe my luck!” says Lucy. “Losing my previous job led to a loss of confidence. I believed I wasn’t good enough to go back into the same career at that time but it was JETS that put me back on track. The support I was given was second to none, it was fantastic. It’s a perfect skills match; you know your job and they know how to get you in front of the right people. I recommend Ingeus and the JETS programme to anyone at any stage in their career to get into work after a period of unemployment.” https://ingeus.com/jetsnw