Nathan returns to school… for his dream job

21 Sep 2021

An Ingeus jobseeker who left school at 16 with no qualifications has found himself back in the classroom… in his dream job. Nathan Jepson from Darwen in Lancashire is now a caretaker at a local high school thanks to incredible support from the JETS employability programme. And the 29-year-old is certainly at home surrounded by students as he's one of 10 siblings.

As a teenager, Nathan's school work took a back seat as he cared for his younger siblings and worked to support the family financially. After leaving school he worked in house removals, gardening, and factory roles, greatly enjoying the physically demanding work.

But when the pandemic struck, work dried up for Nathan and he was left unemployed for a year. He was referred by his local Jobcentre Plus to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered regionally by Ingeus. JETS provides fast, effective, and practical support for jobseekers affected by the pandemic and Nathan joined forces with Ingeus employment coach David Kirby.

“David was absolutely outstanding,” said Nathan. “He went above and beyond my expectations. He arranged for my CV to be updated by the National Careers Service, helped me find and apply for roles, and gave me interview tips.

David, working alongside Ingeus employer account manager Arlene Todd, soon recruited Nathan to a factory role which he enjoyed, but he knew it wasn't his best long-term match. So, knowing Nathan’s background, Arlene and David searched further. Nathan was put forward for the school estates officer position and his enthusiasm and work ethic shone through.

Having been told he 'smashed' his interview, Nathan now works as part of a team of caretakers covering four school sites. Over the summer holidays, they have been busy preparing for the students' return, moving furniture and setting up IT equipment.

Ever modest Nathan continues: “All I had to do was to turn up for the interview, Ingeus did everything else. I simply would not be in this job without David.

“It's very rewarding, the children will come back and have everything they need. I couldn't be happier, I thrive at work, I know this is the job for me, it's hopefully a job for life. I enjoy the physical work and it saves me a fortune in gym membership!”

David said Nathan was a 'really likeable and enthusiastic' person who listened to all the advice given and took all the support offered. “I am absolutely delighted that he has secured a role that he so richly deserves,” he said.

JETS is commissioned and financed by the Department for Work and Pensions and deemed to be a European Social Fund match funded programme.

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