The Restart Scheme, the government employability programme launched in the wake of the pandemic to support people in gaining new employment, is marking its first successful year in London. Delivered by Ingeus and partners across Central and West London, the scheme is supporting the equivalent of ten double-decker busloads of people a month into new jobs.
The programme gives free advice and support to jobseekers referred by 29 local Jobcentre Plus offices to aid people’s journeys back to working life. From CV development, interview skills, and job searching; to confidence-building, exploring job goals, and self-employment advice, Restart Advisers offer employability, wellbeing and monetary advice tailored to each jobseeker. Over the past year, more than 5,000 group workshops have also been delivered, and participants offered specialist advice through a region-wide network of charities, community organisations, and adult learning partners.
The Restart Scheme provides support to a huge range of people experiencing different issues, considerations, and frustrations in their search for work. Almost 7,000 Ingeus participants registered in the past year declared a disability and more than 12,000 classed English as their second language.
Sirina Amin benefitted from joining the Restart Scheme earlier this year following the trauma of caring for, and subsequently losing, both her parents. Supported by her Restart advisor Pinar Akdogan, her potential was soon spotted. Sirina was guided through the job-hunting process, helped to apply for a passport, and created a CV. She quickly secured a waitressing role and now couldn’t be happier.
“I was devastated when my parents passed away,” says Sirina. “I’d spent all my life as their carer, so it was daunting to be looking for work. I’d applied for too many jobs to count, but when I joined the Restart Scheme I saw positive results immediately.
“Pinar was amazing. She had a way of making me feel at ease, inspiring me and making me see my potential. Plus, she did all the paperwork that enabled me to get a job, and even offered to help me with clothes after I’d found out I was successful.”
Also working closely with employers, Ingeus offers fee-free recruitment services to help match Restart participants to vacancies. A large proportion of this year’s successful candidates have gone to work in retail, catering, and hospitality roles across the Capital.
Caroline Banks, Ingeus Operations Director for the Restart Scheme in Central and West London said: “The Restart Scheme has offered a lifeline to thousands of London residents in the past year. Some became unexpectedly unemployed due to the pandemic, others faced health, skills, or social barriers to moving back into work. Our teams and partners have the specialist knowledge and approach to break down these hurdles and match talented enthusiastic workers to local vacancies.”
Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ingeus delivers the Restart Scheme in Central and West London. https://ingeus.co.uk/services/employment/restartscheme