Positivity and enthusiasm ooze from Sirina as she talks about her new job. After losing both her parents to cancer within the last six years, the 43-year-old Londoner’s work is a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel.
The journey to get there hasn’t been easy – as a full-time carer to her parents, Sirina’s lack of work history brought challenges. But within weeks of joining the Restart Scheme, her potential was spotted, and with Ingeus’ help she secured an ideal role. The government set up the Restart Scheme to provide tailored support to help people like Sirina get back into work after the pandemic. Referred to Ingeus by her local Jobcentre Plus, Sirina began receiving help from her Restart Advisor, Pinar.
“I was devastated when my parents passed away,” says Sirina. “I’d spent all my life as their carer, so it was daunting to be looking for work. It was a pleasure to look after them, but I needed to have a job when they had gone.
“I’d applied for too many jobs to count, but when I joined the Restart Scheme I saw positive results immediately. Pinar was so motivating – she said she was going to get me a job, and that’s what she did!”
Aware of Sirina’s lack of experience and confidence, Pinar guided her through the job-hunting process. She helped Sirina to apply for new forms of identification, such as a passport, as well as creating her CV. Sirina says “Pinar was amazing. She had a way of making me feel at ease, inspiring me and making me see my potential. Plus, she did all the paperwork that enabled me to get a job, and even offered to help me with clothes after I’d found out I was successful.”
Sirina secured a waitressing role within a restaurant chain after impressing her employers at a recruitment open day. Almost six weeks into the job, and she couldn’t be happier. “It means the world to me,” confides Sirina. “I’m enjoying it so much. And I know it’s just the start – I know how to sit an interview now and impress an employer.
There are lots of positions above me here and I’m ready to start climbing the ladder.” 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.