The arrival of the pandemic last year came as a blow to Swaine Nelson, from Brent. He had been employed by an energy and regeneration company as an agency worker and was in line for a permanent position. But when Covid struck, Swaine found himself out of a job. Now, thanks to the Restart Scheme delivered by Ingeus, he has landed his dream role.

Swaine, aged 53, was unemployed for nearly 18 months until he was referred to the Restart Scheme by Brent Jobcentre Plus. The scheme was set up by the Government to help people get back into work after the pandemic. Jobseekers receive advice and support and access to local jobs, while employers are offered free recruitment services. Swaine began working with Ingeus Restart adviser Leena Kerai, who was on hand to guide and support him while he used the tools on Ingeus’s employability platform iWorks.

“I would tell anyone who’s in the same position as myself that they should go through this programme, I’ll give it the thumbs-up all day long!”

Leena is magnificent, which was a bonus,” says Swaine. “She really boosted my confidence and helped me a lot with sorting out my CV and getting myself organised in terms of putting an interview presentation together. I can’t speak more highly of her. I was given maximum support and I believe I needed it because I was at a low stage in life. When you get to a certain age you think you’re going to be written off and you don’t really go in with high expectations. To have someone there to help and guide you and give you encouragement that you can put yourself out there – that was a real boost.”

During lockdown, Swaine had attended an online college course to obtain a CSCS card so he could work on-site in the construction industry. He told Leena he was interested in a role involving fibre-optic splicing as he had worked in that field previously and enjoyed it. Leena found a course he could join but it would mean working as an apprentice. “I knew that meant starting at the bottom but I wanted to get my foot through the door and back into fibre employment,” says Swaine. He prepared for an interview and put together a presentation with Leena’s guidance. He couldn’t have dreamed what would happen next.
 

“The great thing about it was after the interview, the company said I was slightly advanced for the position, and it would waste my time to go into an apprenticeship,” says Swaine. “Instead, they proposed that I could go into the company with a full-time job. I shed a little tear at that, it was the best news. I really feel elated and it’s all come through iWorks and the help of Leena. I would tell anyone who’s in the same position as myself that they should go through this programme, I’ll give it the thumbs-up all day long!”

Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ingeus is delivering the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester and Central and West London and is partner to Serco, which is delivering the scheme in Central West Midlands.