Making a return to retail

Chris relishing new challenge thanks to Restart Scheme

Christopher Cutler, from Keighley, has achieved his goal of securing a retail role after the Restart Scheme empowered him to rebuild his confidence. 

When Christopher, 39, joined the scheme in April 2022, he had been out of work for five years.

He previously worked in retail and customer service, and quickly informed his Employment Advisor, Abdul, that he was looking to return to the sector.

Chris found completing job applications difficult and was unsure how to appropriately word his answers.

Abdul helped Chris to update his CV and supported him to complete job applications. After being out of work for so long, Chris was also struggling with his confidence which was another area Abdul focused on.

Chris said: “I wouldn’t talk to anyone before, I was very down. I didn’t know what I needed to do to apply for jobs, but Abdul helped me with all my applications. Abdul also helped me to build my confidence through the general conversations we had each week. Abdul is a very friendly person and made me feel comfortable.”

When Chris and Abdul spotted a Retail Assistant role online, Abdul thought he’d be a perfect fit for the job. Abdul helped him to complete the application form and effectively prepare for the interview by practising interview questions and offering feedback.

Just two days later, Chris attended his interview feeling confident, knowledgeable and thoroughly prepared.

Chris was surprised when the employer paused his interview halfway through – to offer him the job on the spot.

Within a week, he began his new job as a Retail Assistant. He is thoroughly enjoying himself – and thanks to his ability to learn quickly and take on new challenges, he is now training new starters when they join the business.

His hard work and dedication has been recognised by his employer already, with Chris being named ‘Employee of the Week’ five times since he started in September 2022.

Chris said: “All the staff on the Restart Scheme were very friendly. I’m now loving my new role and the different tasks I’m doing – I’m learning something new every week. I get on with everyone in my workplace and I have fitted in well with the team. I’ve never done this kind of retail before, but I’m enjoying doing something completely new and the challenges that it brings.”

Abdul said: “When Chris joined the Restart Scheme, he was shy and had very low confidence. So, I knew I had to encourage him to come out of his shell and offer some direction.

“Now, Chris has regained his confidence and self-belief. He is self-assured and willing to help others. It’s been fantastic to work with him on his journey – my hope is that one day soon he will become a supervisor.”

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