For talented designer James Cahill, graduating with a Master's degree in Architecture from the University of Liverpool in 2020 brought a very real fear of being unable to put his learning into practice. Having already completed a Bachelor’s degree and undertaken several architecture roles before returning to study for his Masters, James could never have imagined he’d be looking for his next professional post during a global pandemic.
Thankfully, the new JETS employability programme has helped James build on his firm foundation of skills, helping him secure work as a RIBA Part 2 architectural assistant for a north west council.
“I had been working on my portfolio and applying for jobs but nothing was really moving until I was offered the council interview. It was a job I really wanted and it was vital that I nailed the interview,” explains James.
James, 29, had been referred by his local Jobcentre Plus for JETS employability support. The Work and Health Programme Job Entry Targeted Support (WHP JETS) scheme, delivered in the north west by Ingeus, is the Government’s pandemic-response employability programme, supporting people back into work quickly. Expert employment coaches give tailored job search and preparation advice, and James was soon benefitting from interview and presentation practice.
“Having Ingeus on board really helped,” James continues. “My first hour-long interview consisted of a presentation and scored questions. Having practiced with the employment coach, and been given a huge dose of encouragement, it made me much more confident and I was told I had ‘set the bar high’ after my first interview.    
“Again for my second interview, the JETS team was supporting me beforehand, listening to the research I’d done about the employer and suggesting anything I might have missed.
I was so chuffed to be offered the role. The council has housing, schools, recreational buildings, listed properties – it’s going to be really varied. I feel my success validates my degree, I didn’t do it all for nothing and it’s partly thanks to the JETS support that I can take this next important step in my career.”
Ingeus, working in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), is delivering the Work and Health Programme (WHP) expansion for Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS). It is co-financed by the European Social Fund.