Putting experience into action

8 Jul 2024
There are two sides to every story and when it comes to the employability support Ingeus gives to its participants, Giorgia has seen them both. Previously unemployed and struggling to find help, joining the Pioneer programme run by Ingeus in London has seen her fast-tracked into a new career as an employability trainer. Joining team Ingeus in October 2023, just three months after arriving as a participant, she says she uses her past experience every day to show others that change is possible. 
“When I joined Pioneer, my advisor was lovely and I felt understood from the first encounter,” says Giorgia, who moved to London from Italy in 2017 to pursue her dream of being a bartender. Quickly progressing through the hospitality ranks, she became a training manager for a large bar chain before a serious ankle injury led her to leaving work at the end of 2022. 
“When I began attending the Pioneer training – looking at social skills, CVs, interview techniques, all sorts of things – it was so inspiring. I got my spark back, but it wasn’t until my Ingeus trainer suggested I go for an Ingeus vacancy that I clicked on being able to use my training background in a new and much more meaningful way.”  
Pioneer – part of the Work and Health Programme – gives in-depth support to participants with health and personal barriers preventing their progress into work. Putting all her new-found advice into action, Giorgia thoroughly prepared for her Ingeus interview – twice in fact. After completing an initial six month contract, she re-applied and became a permanent member of the Ingeus team in March 2024. 
However, Giorgia’s health problems hadn’t been confined to her ankle when simply stepping awkwardly from a bus resulted in her losing her previously longed for hospitality career. “It was traumatic,” she recalls. “I had no close family here and lost my savings not realising I was eligible for employment benefit. I stopped seeing everyone and felt very isolated. I’d have panic attacks trying to use public transport. I knew the impact it was taking on my mental health and sought help from a therapist. 
“The Ingeus training also really helped with some of that personal fear. It gave me structure, motivation, and people I could relate to. I share my story freely with people I support now. Getting back to work 100% contributed to my recovery, Ingeus has been a big part of it, both as a participant and employee.” 
Giorgia now provides pre-employability training to unemployed participants on the Restart Scheme in London. Her Pioneer advisor still regularly checks in with her to ensure working life is running smoothly. 
“I love it! I’ve been welcomed since day one – well before that really with Pioneer,” she jokes. “We’re like a working family, we all support and learn from each other.  
“Socially, I’m back out there too… visiting my family, going on holiday, and even making new friends. I go to a board games club and love live music. Working has given me the confidence and financial freedom to manage that.” 
Pioneer - Take the first step with WHP Pioneer | Central London Works | Ingeus 

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