For ex-frontline recovery worker Debbie Cartwright from Skelmersdale, being unemployed after an 18 year career at a mental health charity was an unfamiliar and uncomfortable experience. Thankfully, with some expert support from the new WHP JETS employment programme, Debbie has a new focus, a new job, and her sights set firmly on the future.
When Debbie was made redundant in April 2020, it was ‘a shock to the system’ she could never have envisaged. She found herself job hunting during the pandemic, having never been unemployed or having undertaken an interview before. Also juggling caring responsibilities for her elderly mother, Debbie, 53, feared she was unemployable, and her confidence hit rock bottom.
Realising she desperately needed an income and a new job quickly, Debbie was referred to Ingeus’s Lisa Raynor, an employability coach on WHP JETS. Lisa quickly got to work with Debbie, updating her CV to help her demonstrate her transferrable skills.
The WHP JETS programme operates across the north west and is delivered by Ingeus and a range of local partners.
Debbie said: “I struggle with my self-confidence anyway, but also realised I knew nothing about searching and successfully applying for jobs, especially during a pandemic. During my first consultation with Lisa I shared my concerns. I desperately needed a job – for an income, and for my self-worth.
“Lisa coached me through some interview techniques and helped me verbalise the experience I’d gained over the years. She put forward vacancies and helped me to prepare for a video interview for a customer service role, based at home. I needed something close to mum, so it was perfect.
“Ingeus then funded a headset for my new job. They couldn’t have done more to boost my confidence and make the move into a new role an easy one.”
Debbie now works full time and says she’s proud to set a good example to her grown-up children. She is an avid baker and craft maker and dreams of becoming her own boss in the future.
WHP JETS is a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP) and is commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, with support from the European Social Fund. Ingeus supports the delivery of JETS in the North West, Greater London, Greater Manchester, the North East, and Central areas.