Old Ford Housing in canal launch for its jobs programme afloat on a boat

Tenants of Old Ford Housing helped aboard canal barge for jobs event

Tenants of Old Ford Housing helped aboard canal barge for jobs event - Credit: Old Ford Housing

Finding a job when you’re out of work doesn’t normally involve getting on a barge and touring the canals of London’s East End.

Tenants of Old Ford Housing helped aboard canal barge for jobs event

Tenants of Old Ford Housing helped aboard canal barge for jobs event - Credit: Old Ford Housing

But that’s what 50 people looking for work were doing when their social housing landlords put on a ‘job brokerage’ event on the Hertford Union canal by Victoria Park.

Circle Old Ford also laid on activities like plant-potting and basket-weaving.

“We offer our tenants much more than just a home,” the housing organisation’s Christine Hevey said. “We find them a job, help get a new skill or get them money advice, working with other organisations to benefit the community.”

The event at the Growing Concerns social enterprise in Wick Lane, near Hackney Wick, in partnership with the Regent’s Canal East End Heritage project, was to publicise Circle Housing’s community development work including IT skills and job training such as construction.

Circle Housing is currently aiding 40 people to get off ‘the dole’ and has helped around 850 people into training in the last 12 months alone.

It is involved in Tower Hamlets council’s Skillsmatch ‘job brokerage’ programme starting this month, which is helping those out of work to spot jobs that match their skills, or find roles they might be suited for which would otherwise be unavailable, such as administrative or hospitality positions.

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The programme teaches writing a CV and interview techniques for meeting a potential employer.