Gaining independence through the Restart Scheme

Restart Scheme helps Shelina kickstart her career  

Shelina Khatun, 40, was referred to the Restart Scheme in Newham in April after recently moving to the area.

Shelina had been out of work for over a year whilst caring for her children and was unsure how to start looking for employment again.  

After meeting her Employment Advisor, Mina Akter, she realised that she had lots of transferable skills she could utilise within her job search.  

However, Mina highlighted that she would need formal qualifications to enter the childcare industry. Knowing that she would have to complete the qualifications knocked Shelina’s confidence a little, but Mina reassured her that she already had the skills, it was just a case of formalising them so she could begin work. 

Roles in the childcare sector also suited Shelina’s lifestyle perfectly as the shifts meant that she could work and pick her children up at the end of the school day. 

Shelina was referred to Redbridge College where she completed her Teaching Assistant Level 1 and Safeguarding and Equality at Work courses, which were fully funded by Maximus. She completed the courses within nine weeks and was ready to start searching for childcare roles.  

Mina recognised that Shelina had all the skills needed for nursery roles, however her interview techniques needed some further improvement. Mina explained: “She lacked a bit of confidence for job interviews, so a lot of the time we spent together was showing her what a great candidate she was!” 

Mina helped Shelina throughout the application process for a local nursery position. With renewed confidence, Mina successfully secured the role and began in September.  

Shelina described: “I was incredibly lucky and grateful to get opportunity in the preschool. It’s been great to get some good experience within my local community. It has put me into a great position to move forwards and build my career.” 

Shelina eventually plans to become a self-employed childminder, the courses and experience she gained through the Restart Scheme are a fantastic steppingstone as she looks to become more independent. 

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