Caitlin Duffy – Civil Service

Caitlin joined our Civil Service programme online with the intention of building up her knowledge and experience of the recruitment process for Civil Service roles. With this newfound confidence and skills, Caitlin was able to secure a role with Ingeus as one of their Restart Advisors. She is looking forward to progressing within the role and seeing where the opportunities take her! Read Caitlin’s experience with Release Potential below!

What were you doing before you started the programme?
“Soon after completing my A-Levels, I started work as a TUI Holiday Representative. I stayed in this role for four years working in locations including Turkey, Cyprus, Spain and Tenerife. Then a combination of things happened which meant I could not carry on as a rep. Brexit complications meant TUI needed less staff, Covid-19 had a devastating impact on the travel industry as a whole and I had some health problems which necessitated some stays in hospital. I had some temp jobs during the pandemic and had been unemployed for about 8 months before I started the course.”

How did you find out about the training?
“I found out about the course from my Work Coach, Craig at West Bromwich Job Centre. I had inquired about how to go about applying for the Civil Service and he came back with this. I also got some more information about it from a member of staff at Release Potential.”

Why did you decide to join?
“I didn’t want to go back to what I’d been doing before. I was looking for something more professional and secure if possible, and this felt right. I was looking for a career, especially as I had recovered from the surgery I needed.”

What did you think of the training? How did it help you?
“The part of the course that I found most helpful was the preparation and tips for finding work in civil service roles. In particular, help with developing the necessary personal and behaviour statements, support with making applications, interview preparation and having a mock interview were all good for me. I was able to structure my answers better than I had before.”

Were there any barriers or obstacles you had to overcome?
“As I’d had some health problems, I was glad to be able to learn remotely and do the course from home. I was trying to get mentally and physically back into work and the flexibility that this course gave helped me at the time.”

What are you doing now?
“I’m employed as a Restart Advisor with Ingeus. The role includes helping people who have been out of work for at least 12 months with employment advice and support. I’m only a couple of weeks into my role, but eventually, I’ll have a caseload of about fifty people. We keep in touch with customers even after they have secured work and monitor if they remain in work.”

What impact has the training had on your life?
“The course helped me find and secure the role I have now. I didn’t know about this type of role beforehand.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I’m new to my role and I’m hoping to stay in this job for now. As for the future, so long as my health remains good and I keep progressing, there may be opportunities such as Team Leader and Manager roles that I’ll be looking to apply for. I should be able to use my experience to obtain similar work if not.”

What would you say to someone who was thinking about doing the training but wasn’t sure?
“The course is definitely helpful in terms of finding what you want to do and opening your mind to new roles. Originally, I had been looking toward working in border force roles. A little while ago I had been offered a job as an immigration officer, but I didn’t want that role. I didn’t even know about the Restart Advisor jobs previously, but I’m glad I’m doing one now.”

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