Supporting people through the Restart Scheme: Maximus and Thunderbird Fried Chicken

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Through our delivery of the Restart Scheme, we are committed to helping thousands of people return to meaningful employment.

Tijan Drammeh was unemployed for over a year before joining the scheme in October 2021. Forming part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, the scheme is being delivered across a number of South and East London boroughs.

In Merton, Maximus is working with Reed in Partnership and with their help, Tijan was supported to return to work.

Tijan’s struggles to find sustainable employment left him suffering with low confidence and self-esteem.

His dedicated Employment Advisor, Nicky Phiri, said: “When I first met Tijan, he was quite introverted, and it took a little while for us to build trust. I worked with him to make him feel comfortable, which was essential because then I could tailor my support towards him.

“When you’re out of work for that amount of time, it can dent your confidence and that was the case for him. I could see he was a forward-thinking individual, but he needed help with how to demonstrate that on application forms. I helped him with submitting CVs and making sure his CV was matching the job description.”

With the team’s support, Tijan successfully secured a role as a team member at Thunderbird Fried Chicken, just two months after joining the scheme.

Nicky reflected on Tijan’s journey back into work: “I’m really proud of how far Tijan has come, from when he first joined the Restart Scheme to now. He’s thriving in his new role, and I can’t wait to see where he progresses in the next few years.”

Natalie Jones, Head of Operations at Thunderbird Fried Chicken, explained: “Tijan’s been with us for a couple of months now and has settled really well with the team. He’s a happy, smiley guy that wants to do well for himself, but wants the business to do well also.

“I think there’s a national recruitment crisis that’s impacting the hospitality industry. We’ve seen a real shift in workforce which is making it a little harder to recruit and retain. But working with Maximus has been brilliant because they help source recruits for us and understand the kind of candidates we need to run the business.”

Reflecting on his experience, Tijan said: “First of all, I’d like to thank the Restart Scheme because they have been amazing. They’ve been very supportive and cared for me throughout the whole process.

“I also want to thank Thunderbird Fried Chicken because with their support I’ve continued to gain confidence and now I’m a different person to before. I’m very proud of myself, from where I’ve come from to now. It’s only onwards and upwards from here.”

08 June, 2022