With more than a dozen employment and skills programmes in operation across the country, our dedicated teams have been working to help people overcome their barriers and find employment for more than 75 years.
Through employability programmes like the Restart Scheme, our colleagues work tirelessly to not only find people jobs, but to find people roles that fit with their career aspirations, helping them to grow and thrive in a career that is meaningful to them.
When Desreen joined the Restart Scheme at the start of last year, she had been struggling to find a role that utilised her 15 years of experience in the health and social care sector.
She explained: “I was in between jobs, taking care of my children while trying to find full-time work. During that time, I was still hoping to study in health and social care. I wanted to go further forward in the sector and find something that was going to be sustainable for me.
“The job centre introduced me to the Restart Scheme, and from that moment, I had no doubt in my mind that it was going to be a positive experience for me.”
Desreen soon met our partners, Reed in Partnership, who are delivering the scheme on behalf of Maximus in Croydon.
Juggling childcare responsibilities and dealing with physical health issues posed significant barriers to Desreen’s return to work, but with tailored guidance from her Employment Advisor, Jorge, she was supported throughout their initial meetings.
Speaking about their first meeting, Jorge said: “When I met Desreen, she showed huge potential and enthusiasm about getting back into work. She has always been driven and very positive, which shone through our entire relationship, but because she had been out of the labour market for a while, we needed to work on strategies to help her return to it.”
With support from the Restart Scheme, Desreen reworked her CV, adapting it to her circumstances and identifying the transferable skills that she had developed over the years.
The team worked closely with her to build her confidence and identify opportunities that would cater for her career prospects, helping her to effectively prepare for interviews by completing job applications and mock interviews.
Reflecting on the support, Desreen said: “Me and Jorge clicked straight away from the moment I was introduced to him. The communication between us was great and I could tell he was genuinely interested in supporting me.”
In June 2022, Desreen’s dedication and hard work paid off when she successfully secured a position as a Healthcare Assistant at King’s College Hospital.
She said: “I’ve been at King’s College Hospital for more than a year now. It’s my dream job and I’m loving it. I’ve learned so much since I joined, I’ve already progressed up a band and I’m now working to become a nurse’s associate, which can lead you to become a nurse or midwife. I’m building my career there, and if I hadn’t been given this opportunity through the Restart Scheme, I don’t know if I would have a job in the healthcare system now.”
Desreen’s journey with the Restart Scheme highlights the power of finding fulfilling work opportunities that match the skills and aspirations of our participants.
Jorge commented: “As her Employment Advisor, seeing Desreen achieve her goals and secure the kind of employment she had been seeking in the first place is the most rewarding feeling for me. Helping participants find sustainable employment is at the core of what we do; we don’t want to place participants in any job but one that is meaningful for them and their career progression because this is what is really going to make a difference to their lives.”
Looking back on her journey with the scheme, Desreen said: “The scheme has done such amazing things for me. My confidence has grown and I’m a new person, 100% a new person now. This has changed my life forever. Believe me, I’ve moved up in life now. I’m so grateful.”