Mohanad Al-Saraj returns to work after 17 months through the Maximus Restart Scheme.

After being made redundant in April 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mo Al-Saraj was referred to the Restart Scheme in Kingston upon Thames.

Mo, 46, had been struggling to find work throughout the pandemic, applying for hundreds of vacancies without receiving any response. Our partners, Reed in Partnership, supported Mo by providing him with tailored support to help him back into work.

Alberto Matesi, his dedicated Employment Advisor, helped Mo rework his CV, tailored his applications to suit each vacancy and provided coaching through mock interviews. Mo was also given a range of skills sessions on the Employment Support hub.

Alberto said: “On the Restart Scheme, participants like Mo are supported with different skills sessions, which in turn gives confidence to companies such as Timpson, that they’ll be the right candidate for the job.”

Within six weeks of joining the Restart Scheme, Mo was offered a trial day at British retailer, Timpson. After a successful trial, he was quickly offered the role of Trainee Mobile Manager.

Louis Jones, Area Development Manager at Timpson, described Mo’s progress: “Mo is shining for his personality. He’s really taken to the job, his skill progression is really good, and he is enjoying working with customers one-on-one and having the freedom to give customers amazing service.”

He continued: “The Restart Scheme is helping us bring in new, amazing colleagues with great personalities. We look for people that want to progress and move up the ladder, and we give them all the tools they need to be successful within the business.”

After being unemployed for 17 months during the pandemic, Mo is now enjoying being back in full-time employment, with the prospect to progress within Timpson.

The support from Maximus and the Restart Scheme doesn’t end there, either. He continues to receive In Work Support from the team in Kingston while he settles into his new role.

Reflecting on his experience with the Restart Scheme, Mo said: “The Restart Scheme gave me the confidence to get back into work and I’m very thankful for that.”

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP, commented: “Supporting jobseekers like Mo to build new skills, gain vital confidence and unlock their potential is at the heart of our Restart Scheme.

“It’s brilliant to see providers like Maximus working closely with our fantastic DWP Work Coaches to support people across the country to break through the barriers holding back their work search, get on track and progress in their careers.”

Find out more about Mo’s journey back into work by watching our first participant video.

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