Sprowston man enjoys job success thanks to welfare to work scheme

A dad-to-be from Sprowston is back in work and happily planning for the new arrival thanks to landing a job at a local recruitment fair.

Ricky Martin, 23, who lives with his fiancee Rachel Herman at Shipfield, is now at the start of a promising career in care work having joined APS Care, which runs local residential home, Burlingham House, near South Walsham between Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

The couple are expecting a baby boy in August, but for the past year Mr Martin has been unable to find a job after working in stints in the hospitality and entertainment industries, including as a blue coat at the Haven Seashore Centre in Great Yarmouth.

But now the former Earlham High School pupil is celebrating the start of a new career after becoming one of eight jobseekers to have found permanent employment from a job fair, held in February at the Norwich offices of local Work Programme provider, Ingeus.

Ingeus delivers the government's Work Programme across the East of England and has 11 town and city centre-based offices in the region.

The organisation works with local unemployed people to develop skills and support job-search activity and offers a free end-to-end recruitment service to employers such as APS Care.

Burlingham House manager Amanda Bargewell said Mr Martin's bubbly personality helped him land the job.

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'Despite Ricky not having past experience, his personality really shone through when I met him at the job fair and I immediately invited him for a full interview at the home,' she said.

'We are interested in people with an aptitude for the job, not necessarily a list of qualifications, and these events are great for finding quality people who may not ordinarily apply for a position with us. Ricky is settling in brilliantly and the residents love him.'

Mr Martin, who now helps care for the home's 31 residents, currently takes the train to work and then walks from Lingwood, but he is applying to the Kickstart scheme for the loan of a moped to help him get to work.

'I was dreading not having a regular wage coming in when the baby arrived and seasonal work away from home just wasn't an option for me any more,' he said.

'I was getting nowhere applying for jobs on my own but within weeks of working with Ingeus I had a new CV, interview experience and the confidence to try something new.

'I hadn't considered being a carer but the job fair changed all that. Ingeus handled my travel expenses and CRB check and is keeping in close contact with me as I settle into the job.

'I'm already undertaking lots of training and hope to study for an NVQ in care work next – as well as keeping the residents entertained of course!'