The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recently announced an extension of the Work and Health Programme service, called the Job Entry: Target Support (JETS) element, which will support those who have found themselves out of work due to Covid-19.

Reed in Partnership, which delivers in the Work and Health Programme contract for the DWP in the North East region, will make it their mission to find and secure new opportunities for a group of approximately 50,000 people who have become recently unemployed through the newly launched JETS scheme, which is set to last for 18 months.

Appointed to support Reed in Partnership in achieving their goal with an engaging B2B marketing campaign to inspire businesses across Northern England, is Sunderland-based marketing agency, Narrative.

Kieron Goldsborough, managing director at Narrative, said: “As a team of people who both work and reside in the North East, we at Narrative fully understand and have seen first-hand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our region.”

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the North East’s rate of joblessness for the period from May to July 2020 at 5.2 per cent, well above the national average of 4.1 per cent, with the number of people claiming unemployment benefit at the start of August rising by more than 50,000 from the pre-pandemic period.

Kieron continued: “The JETS scheme is a fantastic opportunity to gain expert advice and guidance, providing service users with the skills and support required to find and secure new employment. Core to the scheme is supporting and underpinning the efforts of businesses across the North to enable and empower them to survive and thrive with the recruitment of skilled talent from JETS.

“The team here at Narrative can’t wait to see the positive effect this campaign has over the next 18 months and beyond, as we underpin the sterling efforts of businesses across the country. By supporting Reed in Partnership and, in turn, those who have found themselves out of work as a result of the pandemic, we feel a great sense of pride.”

In addition to the North East region, Reed in Partnership will deliver the JETS scheme to areas of Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Nicola Whelan, head of delivery support at Reed in Partnership, said: “Having delivered employment support for several years, our specialist advisers will provide vital support to help North East job seekers to find and secure employment within the current labour market.

“JETS participants, of which we have already welcomed 2,350 referrals and 1,000 starts[1] in the first two weeks alone, will work closely with Reed in Partnership’s expert employment advisers to develop a personal plan of action and organise all their required support, which will include training on key employment skills such as CV writing, interview skills and even self-confidence.”

The fully funded scheme will also provide its participants with access to financial support for a range of job searching activities, including help towards: travel costs, interview clothing, health assessments and training.

Nicola added: “Absolutely imperative to the success of the JETS scheme is engagement and buy in from businesses and we believe that the team at Narrative have not only the creative skills, experience and regional knowledge, but also the passion and dedication to help us achieve just that.”

For more information on how to get involved with JETS or to access its support services, call 0800 025 3058.

[1] ‘Starts’ represents people who have officially started on the programme.