For 39-year-old Ian Duckworth, joining the JETS programme 12 months ago proved to be one of the best decisions he ever made. Little did he realise at the time that he was about to enter a new phase in his career with the very same company that was helping him to find employment.
 
Ian, from Blackpool, joined the JETS programme in October 2020 after being referred by his Jobcentre Plus Work Coach Kevin Sadler. With a background in sales, he never imagined he’d be sitting in a JETS Employment Coach’s chair less than three months later and helping people in similar situations to his.
 
“My Employment Coach Tracey Fulton was phenomenal,” recalls Ian. “She was so supportive when I started the scheme and, as we discussed different career paths, she planted the seed that I’d be good at doing her job.”
 
Although working for Ingeus appealed, Ian quickly secured a job with a company working from home as a call centre agent. Initially, the role suited Ian perfectly as he was shielding during the pandemic and he was happy to learn new skills.
 
Ian says, “I was so grateful to Tracey for helping me to secure the job. But then in November she messaged me to say a role with Ingeus had come up. So I applied, had an interview and was offered the position. What should have been a bleak Christmas after losing my mum and my job that year was turning into a much more positive one.”
 
Since starting with Ingeus in January, Ian has moved to three different areas within the JETS programme as Employment Coach, including supporting participants who are disengaged for reasons such as poor health or personal circumstances.
 
He explains, “Having seen both sides, it’s great to be able to share my story with the participants.  And they are so happy when they get a job. You build up a relationship with them to find out their dreams and aspirations – I still get texts from some people I’ve helped just to say hi!”
 
“As a company, Ingeus genuinely does live by its values of supporting its employees. And we in turn pass on that support to the participants.”
 
Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) is a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered in North West England by Ingeus. It is commissioned and financed by the Department for Work and Pensions and deemed to be a European Social Fund match funded programme.