As a single mum of four children, Gemma felt the financial pressure of trying to look for work whilst also supporting her family. After being supported by Amber on the JETS programme, Gemma is now thrilled to be back in work, doing a job that she loves.

“I’d been job searching since August 2020, after my contract ended as a 1:1 Special Needs Teaching Assistant. Because of COVID-19, the schools were closed, so they weren’t taking on anyone for jobs which made it so difficult.

“I had my own children at home, which did fill the time whilst I wasn’t working, but when they went back to school, I felt so fed up with not working or earning money to support my children.

“I was referred to the JETS programme in March 2021 and was in contact with my Employment Advisor Amber every fortnight to begin with. She was finding me so many helpful job vacancies and offering fantastic CV and cover letter workshops which were so invaluable to me. I hadn’t updated my CV since I was in college, so it made such a huge difference.

“We increased our calls to once a week and although I felt fairly confident in looking and applying for work, Amber suggested different kinds of jobs that suited my skillset. Although I didn’t have the right qualifications for those jobs, it made me think about the other avenues that I could go down in my career.

“Amber supported me in joining an agency and through her encouragement and recommendation to the employer, I’m now back in work on a placement that I love. I’m working as a 1:1 Special Needs Teaching Assistant again and it’s really rewarding when I see the results and differences that I’m making to that child’s education.

“It’s great to be able to support my children again. I’m so happy and I really feel like I’m doing something meaningful again. I’d tell anyone thinking of joining the JETS programme to take advantage of all the support they are offering, because it’s made such a huge difference to me.”

Find out more about how our JETS programme can support you back into work, here.

The Work and Health JETS programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.

Area: Devon

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