Travelling for work has never been an issue for former estate agent Michael Murphy, so when he was offered a new job through the WHP JETS programme which involved being on the road, he was happy to swap airmiles for car miles and give it a try.
Before the pandemic hit, Michael regularly made trips between Spain and England to carry out his job selling properties in Spain, but with Covid’s arrival in Europe his career ended abruptly, forcing him to return home and look for alternative work. After signing up at his local Jobcentre Plus, Michael, from Liverpool, was soon referred to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), 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.
Michael, who was referred to Ingeus employment coach George Wayland, says, “George was brilliant at helping me get this job. He really supported me with updating my CV. I’d never really needed a CV to get a job before, so he gave me lots of advice with putting it together and perfecting the wording.”
As well as offering CV guidance, George was in regular contact with Michael informing him of vacancies and helping him to get to the next step in the process.
Michael says, “JETS would send me information about different companies, I would apply and I would hear from them very soon afterwards. I think it’s probably the best programme that’s been put across to me – I’d never experienced anything like it before, it was so efficient.”
Michael’s new job as a mobile Covid marshal is a far cry from selling houses, but he is very positive about the experience he is gaining while doing it.
He says, “I know it’s only temporary, but it’s really worthwhile to do. It’s a great stop-gap job before I look for something else, perhaps back in the property sector, and I may be asked to stay on longer.”
Based at a central test centre in Haydock Park, Michael’s job has seen him clock up around 5,000 miles since he started in February. He’s travelling from the North West site as far as Crewe and Holyhead.
“I enjoy being on the road,” explains Michael. “I will miss the job when it ends. I would love to go back to Spain, but only really for the weather – the property market was very up and down. I’m nearly 40 now, so I think I’ll look to settle here, probably back in the property field, but for now I’m happy with my job and grateful to JETS for helping me to get it.”