“I attended university as a mature student due to ill health in my early adulthood and graduated just before the pandemic began.
“Like a lot of people, I struggled with finding employment, especially as I did not have any working experience beyond volunteering, and don’t have a full driving license. JETS was suggested by my Universal Credit work coach because I was really struggling on my own, on top of dealing with the fallout from successive lockdowns.
“During my time on the programme, I really felt cared for and listened to; short term employment goals did not come at the expense of my long-term plans and having someone to email at any time for help was a massive comfort amid all the uncertainty.
“I got a lot of help with cover letters, reworking my CV for each application, opportunities to upskill via eLearning, support in looking up courses that would benefit my future career path, and they arranged a 1:1 session to prep for my first interview at incredibly short notice.
“Every person I interacted with was compassionate and empathetic; several staff members said that they had been made redundant at the start of the pandemic, so when they said ‘I hear you, I know how you feel’ I felt really validated.
“With the support I received from JETS, I secured a part time job that I have the skills to fulfil, and that allows me enough flexibility to continue learning to drive, actively volunteer in the wildlife sector (where I ultimately want to end up working), and start learning British Sign Language for education and public engagement. I am so happy and grateful for all the help I have received from this programme, and with all the skills and knowledge I have gained, I feel a lot more confident about navigating the job market solo in the future.”
The Work and Health JETS programme is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund. Stock image used.