Recent university graduate Eleanor Gait found herself unemployed after the Covid-19 pandemic struck and turned to a new programme provided by employability specialist Seetec Pluss.  

Eleanor Gait photo

In lockdown at her family home in Seaton, Devon, work opportunities were scarce for Eleanor, who had previously taken seasonal hospitality roles to raise funds as she planned to continue her studies to obtain a Master’s degree.  

Eleanor, 23, explained: “I was living at home with my Mum and looking for a job that best matched what I had learnt during my degree course. But I wasn’t in a dire situation, so I felt others were more deserving of support.  

“My Employment Advisor was brilliant, every bit of guidance helped me make a bit more progress. Seetec Pluss were really taking on board what I was saying and helping me to search for roles that matched my aspirations. Their support was tailored to me and my advisor pushed me to apply for roles even if I felt I was slightly underqualified for them.”  

Eleanor’s search for employment came following a period when, according to The Office for National Statistics’ figures for the third quarter of 2020, 12 per cent of recent graduates were unemployed, almost double the average rate for this group over the past three years.  

The support Eleanor received was provided under the new Government-funded JETS programme, designed to help people struggling to find work due to Covid-19. The programme, which launched in October 2020, has already supported over 700 people from across Devon into employment. 

Seetec Pluss Executive Director, Chris Harrison said:   

“The JETS programme provides jobseekers with a lifeline of support to help people rebuild their confidence, self-belief and get back into sustainable work. Seetec Pluss is committed to ensuring that nobody is left behind because of the pandemic, people of all backgrounds and abilities deserve an equal chance to achieve their work ambitions.  

“Working closely with each person, our employability coaches offer one-on-one intensive, personalised support to help people identify their transferrable skills, write a CV, get through the difficult days and feel confident about the talents they have to offer an employer. Due to Covid, the jobs market is challenging at the moment, but the opportunities are still out there, we are working hard to support individuals and communities to succeed during these challenging times. It is encouraging that 40% of the people who started the programme in October have now found employment.”   

Eleanor agrees, explaining: “Being out of work felt demotivating and intimidating and the figures for graduate employment meant my job searches felt pretty bleak. My advisor offered me CV and cover letter workshops and helped to develop my confidence. When I secured a civil service interview, she advised me how to prepare for that type of interview.”  

Eleanor secured the role, working from home, as an Administrative Officer in the Biometric Immigration Document Management Unit at the Home Office, which involves communicating with people outside of the UK who have applied for Biometric Residence Permits which need to be collected upon arrival. 

She started this month and said: “This is a role that really links to my degree in International Development, and the type of job I saw myself in post-graduation. I am excited that it will allow me to develop the skills to advance my career.”    

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP, said: 

“I’m delighted that our partnership with Seetec Pluss has already supported more than 700 people across Devon into new employment. 

“This has been a challenging time for jobseekers, but our wide-ranging Plan for Jobs is helping us push to build back better and level up across the country. And with over 300,000 people in the UK set to benefit from tailored support through our DWP JETS programme, we’re giving people the skills and confidence needed to fuel their job search, take up new opportunities and get back into work.” 

Seetec Pluss is the prime contractor for the Work and Health Programme in Cornwall, Devon, Avon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Sussex.  

More information can be found about the support, guidance and wider service offer by using the below links:   

Jobseekers: Want to get back into work fast? Find out more:  

Employers: Looking for a great job-ready candidate: Find out more:  


Photo: Eleanor Gait  

Note to editors  

About JETS  

●    The  JETS Programme is an expansion of the Work and Health Programme (which supports people to get back into work). It is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.  

●      JETS stands for ‘Job Entry Targeted Support’.  

●      It is anticipated that the JETS Programme will support 50,000 people over a  
12-month period.  

●      JETS tailored support is available over the phone or online. Face-to-face appointments can be organised at a Covid-secure office following an initial telephone discussion. 

For further information, please contact Nancy Rogers on 07779 251 711 or