The UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has seen many people adapting to different ways of working, as well as job seekers finding new roles that enable them to play a part in helping to safeguard communities.
Unemployed Caroline Wilson from Preston joined the Work and Health Programme, known locally as Work and Health North West, in March after leaving her former care worker role through ill health. Delivered by Ingeus, Work and Health North West helps those who have been unemployed for a long time, as well as people with health conditions, into work.
Sixty-year-old Caroline was unsure about her future and worried that her arthritis would limit her opportunities. Her Ingeus key worker, Ian Colwyn, liaised regularly with Caroline to review her CV and helped her to see the transferrable skills that she had acquired during her previous employment.
When vacancies were announced to operate the government’s new contact tracing system, which alerts individuals who have been near a person with COVID-19, Caroline was encouraged to apply for one of the 100 vacancies.
“Work and Health North West has been so helpful,” commented Caroline. “They made me feel special and really listened to me. I discovered skills that I never knew I had.  My key worker took on board my concerns about my disability and found a job that I could do without being in pain or at risk of letting people down.”
Before commencing her new role as a contact tracer, Caroline completed two days of training and then a series of instruction modules at home. And Caroline’s verdict on her progress during training - “I absolutely smashed it!”
Work and Health North West is commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions and receives support from the European Social Fund.