All was going well for business professional David Pritchard until the pandemic tore through the country last year and left him without any clients. Having been made redundant from his job with an engineering firm in 2018, the 53-year-old from Barnoldswick was working as a self-employed business consultant, advising in project management. This gave him the flexibility to study for his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).
 
“When COVID-19 broke out, all my consultancy work dried up,” says David. “One of my clients was making redundancies so they couldn’t justify keeping me. I decided to get back into employment and started applying for jobs in November 2020.”
 
Even with his Master’s degree, David hit a stumbling block in his search for a suitable job in project management. “I thought the MBA would be a golden ticket but what I found instead was that companies wanted employees to have the relevant experience. It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation,” he says. “The greatest barrier was trying to convince somebody I could do this type of work. I had several interviews but they didn’t come to anything.”
 
David was referred by his work coach Michelle at Nelson Jobcentre Plus to Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), a separate strand of the Work and Health Programme (WHP), delivered in Blackburn 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.
 
JETS employment coach Shakeel Shamsuddin helped David to improve his CV and hone his interview technique. “I used to have a generic CV and just fire it out to everyone but the way Shakeel coached me was to look at the job description and write the CV around the specifics of that,” says David. “The interview techniques he gave me were really helpful, we talked at length about the questions that might come up and the methodology of interviews.”
 
This led to double success for David; not only was he offered a job as a project manager with an engineering firm, but he also secured an interview for his dream role as operations manager for an aerospace company. David accepted the project manager job and is enjoying his work with the firm, which designs and installs bespoke specialist lifts.

“It’s a really nice working atmosphere and I feel like a key person on the team,” says David. “It’s a varied role, which is what I enjoy, and it keeps me stimulated. Without a doubt, the advice and guidance I received from JETS has been instrumental in helping me get a job.”
 
Ingeus supports the delivery of JETS in the North West, Greater London, Greater Manchester, the North East, and Central areas.

https://ingeus.com/jetsnw