As our delivery of the Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) service draws to a close, we’re proud to have met the challenge of rapidly implementing a remote service at a time of significant upheaval in the labour market – supporting people into work through the Covid period and beyond.
The service, introduced by the government in October 2020, aimed to help people who faced employment challenges arising from the pandemic – supporting them to learn new skills, gain work experience, engage with local employers and ultimately, find a job.
Since then, our teams have supported more than 20,000 people into sustainable employment across nine Local London boroughs, and in communities throughout Wales and Southern England. More than 30,000 participants have benefited from training and wellbeing interventions, including employability training, sector specific courses and mental health interventions, alongside individual support to obtain work equipment, travel expenses, childcare and other essentials.
Over the course of the JETS service, our teams have engaged with a broad range of local employers, training providers and community partners, while positively impacting local communities through fundraising, volunteering and events.
Successful implementation during the pandemic
In line with government guidance and local restrictions in place at the time, the service was delivered online via video and email, and by phone, with face-to-face support gradually introduced for those who required it. To deliver this essential employment support during the Covid period, over 300 frontline staff were recruited and onboarded remotely – through the coordinated efforts of Talent & Development, IT, Operations and our Leadership team. Many newcomers to the business had worked outside of the employability sector previously, which brought new perspectives to our teams and enriched our organisation.
A more flexible approach
Delivering the service remotely led to greater efficiencies and a more flexible approach for both customers and colleagues. Participants living in remote areas, for instance in North and Mid Wales – who may have struggled to attend in-person support sessions – were able to access our services more easily, and at a time which suited them. While advisors could be recruited from further afield, and were likewise able to support participants across a wider geographical area than would otherwise have been possible.
Award-winning employability support
Our success in delivering the service was recognised at a DWP event held earlier this year, during which our JETS London team were presented with an Employer Award for exceptional commitment in supporting participants into job roles with leading employer, Travelodge. Our London colleagues were also highly commended in the Innovation Award category for their ability to embrace change and champion new, innovative ways of working.
In addition, the event recognised the JETS Wales team with a Partnership Award for exceptional collaboration with training provider and our Community Partnership Network member, The Digital College. Job seekers were able to access more than 80 courses through the online learning platform, offering invaluable support throughout the pandemic and enabling them to apply their transferable skills in new sectors – during a period in which learning options were limited.
While we are pleased to have resumed in-person support since the pandemic, the new working styles adopted during the delivery of JETS have highlighted the possibilities of a remotely delivered service. We’ve learned that remote support can deliver meaningful interactions, and our teams have been inspired to find innovative ways to achieve positive customer outcomes.
I’m proud that we’ve exceeded the expectations of both commissioners and our participants through delivery of JETS – and equally proud that we have been able to help the country to move forward throughout a uniquely challenging period.