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James – Sixteen years unemployed to a new career with help from the Restart Scheme

Former Wetherspoons Licensed Shift Manager James had found himself unemployed since 2004. Having spent five years delivering friendly, efficient customer service and creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all his customers, at the same time ensuring the smooth running of the pub, with the key aim of retaining and attracting new customers.

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“I had spent sixteen years unemployed, the expectation was for me to apply for jobs for several hours a day, but that wasn’t helpful as I was applying for so many jobs I couldn’t keep track of what I had applied for”.

“I had spent so long out of work, and most jobs weren’t interested in taking a chance on me. My previous experience and skills we’re no longer relevant to get back into the hospitality sector.”

“I was referred to the Restart Scheme at Pathway Group in Walsall, where I met Chris Myles.”

James reflects on his first appointment with Chris “I had, I think 8, hour sessions, and he helped me. He helped me find a job which I am now doing. All praise to him and the team for helping me.”

Chris recalls James’s confidence being at an all-time low at the start of the Restart Scheme, “Getting interviews was a challenge, let alone getting a job.”

Chris took this opportunity to work on building James’s confidence and motivation. “I would leave my appointments with Chris on a high. Pathway Group made me feel like the gap between my last job and now wasn’t a problem and helped me feel motivated that I would work in the future. Chris signposted me to some job fairs to help my networking skills.”

Chris soon identified several transferable skills from James’s experience, “we looked at my previous jobs and skills that could be transferred over to employment. For example, he saw my stock-taking skills from earlier jobs in hospitality management and knew that I could do the role capably.”

“Before having Chris as a Skills & Career Progression Coach, my confidence and motivation were the lowest they had ever been. I didn’t believe I would ever again and wasn’t motivated to search for the right jobs.”

“Pathway Group was sympathetic to my situation, and the whole team made me feel like I could contribute to society again, which helped me get into work.”

16 years unemployed into a new career with help from the Restart Scheme

Soon after their meetings, Chris received an email from James; the email read…

“I have an appointment with you next Tuesday…
We’ll need to cancel that cos I’ll be at work.

It feels good to say that.”

Since James has found employment, “Chris regularly keeps in contact. I am still enjoying the job and have no concerns over my job status. Pathway Group has also helped by providing me with a travel pass for the first couple of weeks of my job, making sure that I didn’t struggle to get there or cause me any unneeded stress before starting.”

“I want to praise you and the team for the help I have had, and the confidence boost I have had because you have done more for me in our few sessions than anyone else has done in 16 years.”

“When I get paid, I will be proud that I earnt that money myself.”

WIS International

James is enjoying his job with WIS International; even though it is hard work, ultimately, he’d like to stay in this job for as long as possible.

“I am on the older side of working age and only have a few years until I reach pension age, but I would like to continue this job and know that I am more employable if anything goes wrong with my current job.”

“Without the Restart Scheme, I believe that I would still be unemployed and would have been until I reached state pension age and retired. So I recommend the Restart Scheme to anyone I speak to who is unemployed and would recommend it to anyone who is given it as an option. Then, even if they don’t get a job out of it, they will be closer to the job market when they finish the programme.”

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