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Jobless queue shrinks in a year by 5,000 people getting onto Tower Hamlets Council’s ‘WorkPath’

PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 May 2018

Mayor John Biggs vists Poplar's Aberfeldy costruction site on first annivesary of Tower Hamlets Council's 'work path' jobs scheme. Picture source: LBTH

Mayor John Biggs vists Poplar's Aberfeldy costruction site on first annivesary of Tower Hamlets Council's 'work path' jobs scheme. Picture source: LBTH

LBTH

It has taken 12 months for Tower Hamlets Council to get 5,000 men and women into jobs or in training.

Mayor meets apprentice Mark Reid, one of the jobseekers placed by the council's 'work path' programme. Picture source: LBTH Picture source: LBTH Mayor meets apprentice Mark Reid, one of the jobseekers placed by the council's 'work path' programme. Picture source: LBTH Picture source: LBTH

That’s how long its new WorkPath programme has been running, with tailor-made brokerage to get that all-important first job or to get back into work after a stretch on the dole.

The programme, marking its first anniversary, works with employers to keep tabs on the jobs market as well as an eye on changes so that jobseekers get the skills that businesses want.

An ‘apprenticeship pledge’ was made in November by Mayor John Biggs which promised the council would help East End businesses create 1,000 trainee places by 2020.

He met two of the apprentices on a visit to Poplar’s ‘Aberfeldy Village’ housing development yesterday who got placements through the programme.

Mark Reid, 20, was placed on a Construction Skills certification scheme before being put in touch with Willmott Dixon and is now an electrical apprentice on their site.

Shahan Ahmed, also 20, was out of work, but now has a firm foot on the employment ladder as a Willmott Dixon plumbing apprentice.

The mayor later joined the WorkPath team at a reunion bash for people they had helped in the first 12 months.

Can't resist a 'selfie' with the mayor... Salma Hussain offered a hotel job through the council's 'work path' programme which has helped 5,000 people in its first year. Picture source: LBTH Can't resist a 'selfie' with the mayor... Salma Hussain offered a hotel job through the council's 'work path' programme which has helped 5,000 people in its first year. Picture source: LBTH

Among them was 28-year-old single mum Salma Hussain who has been offered a place at Travelodge hotel group.

“I was referred through Jobcentre,” she explained. “I completed ‘customer service’ training which helped me to get the job. Its a big help to single parents like me looking to get back into work.”

A 50-plus programme has also been set up for older people who face obstacles because of age. It has paid placements for those changing careers or returning to work in later life.

Many people turn up at WorkPath’s Canary Wharf offices at Upper Bank Street. Others join through referrals such as Jobcentre or outreach sites at children’s centres.

Those ready for the jobs market get a personal ‘broker’ to help with vacancies and to meet potential employers.

But others facing obstacles like childcare, poor computer literacy, health issues, lack of self-confidence or just long bouts of unemployment, may not be ready for work straight away. They are guided into training and development to get them ready.

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