After being out of work for nearly two years, Juliana Oliver was at a low ebb. She’d left her previous job believing she would find something new in a short space of time – but the pandemic was just around the corner.
 
“It was extremely bad timing when I left because Covid hit and everything went on pause,” says the American-born 34-year-old, who lives in North London. Being out of work for so long began to take a toll on Juliana’s mental health. “It was a really long struggle,” she says. “I was feeling down getting constant rejections, and money was a worry.”
 
Juliana's luck changed after she joined the CLW WHP JETS programme in August. She was referred to the scheme by her work coach Kai at Haringey Jobcentre Plus. Ingeus employment coach Harriet Strauss began advising her and it was just the support Juliana needed.
 
“Harriet was really helpful,” she says. “One of the most beneficial things about the programme, which made me feel so much happier, was not feeling like a number to be checked off a list. Harriet made me feel like a person and not a number. I am really grateful for her kindness and enthusiasm.”
 
Harriet arranged for Juliana to attend an Ingeus online course to receive advice on interview technique. The timing couldn’t have been better. The following day, Juliana had an interview for the role of corporate partnerships officer with a charity – and was offered the job. “All the advice I had been given on the course was very prevalent in my mind and I could put it into practice,” says Juliana, who is now relishing being back in work.
 
“It’s just what I needed, I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile and participating in society again, and my skills are being used,” she says.
 
“Are my family proud? That would be an understatement. When I called my mum I didn’t mention the job at first and when I did casually drop it in the conversation, she started screaming! My parents are super happy as they had been worried about me and they knew I had been working so hard to find something.”
 
Central London Works, Work and Health Programme Job Entry Targeted Support (CLW WHP JETS) gives targeted employment support to people affected by the pandemic. Central London Works is delivered by Ingeus and commissioned by Central London Forward.
 
Juliana adds: “I would recommend JETS to others, especially as there’s so much they can offer and they provide a tailored service.”