The power of positivity

Restart Scheme helps Rajay into landscaping

Rajay Smith, 36, was unemployed for over 18 months before he was referred to the Restart Scheme in Enfield. He was looking for a role he was passionate about when he joined the scheme in April 2022 and met his dedicated Employment Advisor, Erik Reis.

Speaking of their initial meeting, Erik said: “When I first met Rajay, he was like a breath of fresh air. He was determined to get back into work, and from our very first meeting his positivity and motivation was evident.

“He didn’t let being unemployed during lockdown hold him back, either. He decided he was going to be proactive and enrolled in a wide range of courses which would help him develop his skills and experience in gardening.”

During the Covid lockdowns, Rajay worked to upskill himself to reach his goal of becoming a full-time landscaper.

He said: “When the lockdown came around it was a bit difficult for me, but I had my kids around me, and they motivated me to get up and go out there to find that job.”

With Erik’s help, Rajay developed his CV to ensure all his recent qualifications were included.

Erik said: “He was very honest with the fact that he struggled to put his skills and experience onto paper, so creating the right kind of CV was difficult for him. We worked together to get a thorough understanding of his skillset and then we were able to develop his CV from there.”

Once his CV was up-to-date, Erik introduced Rajay to Recruitment Agent, Amy Castle, who had already developed a close relationship with local gardening company, GP Garden Services.

Amy explained how this relationship helped her secure Rajay an interview: “GP Garden Services were one of my first clients and they were looking to hire local people within the community in Enfield. We had held several successful recruitment days with them to source participants for their roles and when I saw Rajay, I knew he would be a great fit.

“So I contacted the manager, who arranged an interview and trial shift for the same day.”

After a successful trial, Rajay joined the team immediately. He said: “Landscaping is something I’m very passionate about as it’s a hands-on job. I’m really excited to keep working at GP Garden Services because I’m learning a lot and I want to keep developing. I’m making sure they are proud of me in everything that I do.”

With Erik and Amy’s help, Rajay was helped back into work within two weeks of joining the Restart Scheme. He has now been working with the team for over three months and couldn’t be happier.

Reflecting on his experience, Rajay said: “Maximus helped me find this job and I will not stop thanking them because it has given me the opportunity to move forward in life.”

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