When Owen Mchugh was referred to the JETS programme, he was not sure how useful it would be. The 22-year-old from St Helens was confident he could find a job on his own – but after speaking to employment coach Natalia Davies, he agreed to give it a go. He soon discovered that JETS could offer him support in ways he had not imagined.  
Owen was referred to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered in St Helens 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.
Owen has a CSCS card (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) and roofing experience and was keen to find work in that field. His major barrier to finding a job was the fact he did not have any tools. This is where Ingeus was able to lend a much-needed helping hand – securing the main tools he needed.
“The funding for new tools was really helpful,” says Owen. “Natalia was very helpful and polite on the phone, she gave me loads of support and guidance. She’s good to talk to and she was always looking for jobs for me. My main priority and what I feel comfortable with is construction and being outside.”
Owen found a job with an agency but left soon after, telling Natalia it was not a stable position. He then applied for a landscaping job but it meant a massive pay cut and he wasn’t happy. Natalia continued to offer support to Owen in his search for a job. She came across a roofing company and built up a rapport with the owner, who agreed to offer Owen an interview. This was successful and Owen was happy to have found a job he enjoyed. Feeling more confident about his finances, he even booked a dream holiday to the Maldives for next year.
After the roofing work began to slow down, Owen moved on to another job with a sports construction company. Although he found the job independently, he is grateful to Ingeus and the support that Natalia offered him throughout the process.
“I’m really enjoying the job, the lads I’m working with are sound,” says Owen. “I’m being taught what to do and they’ve got time for me, they’re nice people and we have a good laugh, it’s nice working outside in the fresh air. My family are really proud of me. My mum and dad are happy and so is my little brother, he’s only 13 and he’s made up that I’ve got this job.”