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Dole queue scheme turns claimants into advisers

PUBLISHED: 15:15 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:38 05 October 2010

Jo lands cash windfall to expand jobless training programme

Jo lands cash windfall to expand jobless training programme

AN ADVICE centre facing a staff crisis in London's East End is solving its shortage problem by taking on people on the dole' and training them up as qualified advisers. The Island Advice centre on the Isle of Dogs has landed a £20,000 cash windfall this week to expand the training programme

AN ADVICE centre facing a staff crisis in London’s East End is solving its shortage problem by taking on people on the dole’ and training them up to become qualified advisers.

A programme has been running at the Island Advice centre at Cubitt Town, on the Isle of Dogs, which in the past year has seen 17 trainees complete the course.

Now the centre has landed a £20,000 cash windfall this week to expand the training.

“Advice agencies have experienced difficulty recruiting trained staff,” explained the centre’s volunteer co-ordinator Jo Ellis (pictured at her desk).

“The aim of the training is to increase our advice capacity as well as give people a chance to train for a recognised qualification and improve their chances of finding jobs.”

Eight unemployed people on the training course last year found jobs and another eight registered to train for a higher NVQ qualification in advice and guidance.

Those joining the training programme over the next six months will spend one day a week training and a further day on a work placement’ in an advice environment.

This will give families on the Isle of Dogs “better access to expert advice” at the centre in Island House in Roserton Street, Cubitt Town—on issues from welfare benefits, employment rights and housing concerns to debt, immigration and consumer problems.

The cash to expand the programme comes from the Isle of Dogs Community Foundation, which this week has also given the centre a further £10,000 to set up an outreach’ advice session at Millwall’s Barkantine Estate, previously catered for by the Cedar Centre which closed recently. A drop-in session is being held every Monday from 1pm to 3pm at the Alpha Grove centre in Alpha Grove.

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