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New Restart Manager Jamie aims for future gains that are anything but marginal.

Posted: 22.07.2021

Marginal Gains theory. Know it? Developed by Sir David Brailsford of UK cycling fame, it states that incremental improvements when added together, can produce a significant increase in overall performance and results. It comes to mind when you meet Jamie Fawkes, our newly appointed Performance Manager (Restart) who manages our new Restart Team. Being a rugby coach and ex-personal trainer who moved into apprenticeships and management there’s little Jamie doesn’t know about how to raise performance.

Which is just as well because the Restart Scheme is one of the company’s most important new contracts. The £2.9 billion scheme from the DWP is designed to give eligible Universal Credit claimants tailored support to gain sustainable employment. It’s being delivered by Serco and we’re one of its lead partners covering North Wales. With strict measures to satisfy and an overall target to reach 850 participants by 2024 there’s a lot riding on it.

Thankfully Jamie’s more than up to the task. He kindly set aside 30 minutes to tell us about his new role and what he’s hoping to achieve.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

“I started my career as an apprentice personal trainer in the leisure industry in 2004 then moved into gym instructing.”

Keen for something more he completed a management apprenticeship qualification with Babcock who gave him a job as a regional trainer and assessor in 2013.

“By 2017 I got promoted to Training Manager for Active Leisure managing a team of seven, and covering the whole of the west of England, which is what I was doing until recently”.

Outside of work Jamie enjoys spending time with his wife and 17 year old stepson. Passionate about fitness Jamie has been playing rugby for his local Wallasey Rugby Club since age 14 and currently coaches its junior team.

What does your new role involve?

“I’m responsible for managing a team of two employment facilitators and one employment engagement officer to achieve our contractual obligations and targets for Restart.”

Since everything Restart delivers is down to how his team performs, (including the goal of reaching 180 new starts by the end of 2021) supporting them to work at their best is Jamie’s principle focus he says.

What motivated you to apply?

Jamie says the opportunity to move into employability and deliver Restart had lots of appeal since he derives so much satisfaction from supporting people to overcome barriers and achieve their goals, particularly those who’ve been “dealt a bad hand by Covid”.

How do you feel about being appointed?

“Really excited, naturally”.

What are you most looking forward to?

Jamie said he’s “most looking forward to learning about all the new contacts, and helping our clients grow, achieve and succeed”. Also, he’s looking forward to developing and supporting his new team so they can perform to their potential and deliver great results back through Restart.

What are your priorities for the next couple of months?

“In the first couple of weeks I want to learn more about North Wales Training, and build a good team ethos; bring my team together to build strong mutual relationships of trust and support which are the foundation stones of strong performance”.

Lastly, how will you help North Wales Training to boost its performance?

Jamie disclosed that in his experience raising performance is all about implementing the small things, which we often have time to do, yet don’t for various reasons. By identifying all the barriers to performance and motivating people to overcome them in the way that works best for them you can build a performance culture and achieve results that far exceed expectations. Marginal gains then? Sir David Brailsford would be impressed.

With big responsibility and targets for delivering Restart it’s clear from speaking to Jamie that the results his team achieves will be anything but marginal.