I was delighted to meet with key individuals within Grimsby’s Restart Scheme recently to discuss what the scheme offers to residents, and how I can help to facilitate even better opportunities for those within the scheme.
Restart operates all over the country, having delivered employment to tens of thousands of jobseekers to date, and went live in Grimsby in July. Since then, they have had over 500 referrals through the Jobcentre, and nearly 100 of these have now moved into secure employment. The scheme is for those who have been unemployed and job seeking for 9 months or more, and is mandatory upon Jobcentre referral - however, the engaging environment at Restart ensures that jobseekers feel welcomed and supported in their journey. Participants have personalised action plans with a job goal (or goals), upon which they can base their training and development. There is in-house training, as well as a Work and Wellbeing Centre that helps participants to work on any health concerns or barriers they may have, and includes counselling if required.
Justin Hall, Operations Manager, says that Restart is aiming to “transform lives in the community of Grimsby” through their work, in an atmosphere which is “engaging and motivating, so that people want to come”. They have measures to make the journey into work as seamless as possible, assuring that “if there’s a barrier to work, we will remove it”.
Restart even helps new graduates, and people who wish to be self-employed. To graduates, they offer a one-to-one service, helping them learn how to sell themselves, and to prepare them for roles within local businesses. For those wishing to start a business, Restart will help to create and test business plans, walk participants through the steps of registering a business, and have even offered supplies to some individuals to help them get started.
There are also some Kickstart employees at Restart, which is a scheme that creates jobs to specifically help 16-24 year olds into employment. I spoke to Leo, one of Restart’s Kickstart employees, who achieved A-levels in Psychology and Public Services, but then struggled to find a job afterwards. Leo told me: “I knew I wanted a job helping people”, and he feels he is doing just that in his role at Restart. I wish him every success in his future.
There are a growing number of fantastic jobs becoming available within the Humber region, through our Freeport status and the decarbonisation agenda, and it is vital that we can equip local people to enter these local jobs.
It was a delight to meet with Mandy, Justin, Jamie, Caroline and Nick, and I look forward to the work we will do together in future to keep supplying great employment opportunities to the residents of Grimsby. I also give my thanks to all staff at the Grimsby Restart Centre for their investment in our local people.