Mums keep tuition fees down on Tower Hamlets’ Pathways to Employment scheme by volunteering

Tuition fees cut by volunteering as part of 'return to work' scheme... Annie Majeed, Amel Daoud and

Tuition fees cut by volunteering as part of 'return to work' scheme... Annie Majeed, Amel Daoud and Louise Hogger - Credit: Tower Hamlets Cll

A ‘back to work’ employment programme in London’s deprived East End has now helped its 200th parent get a job after raising a family.

The programme includes volunteering and training to help build self-confidence to get mums back into the jobs market.

Staff at children’s centres are helping by giving them volunteer placements as part of Tower Hamlets council’s Pathways to Employment programme.

Three children’s centres, Marner, Mile End and Overland, have been holding events where parents looking for jobs, training and volunteering met potential employers and training providers.

Annie Majeed, 34, completed a childcare Level 3 course before having her children and was offered a volunteering placement at Overland.

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Staff encouraged her to apply for jobs and she now works in schools in hours that suit her childcare arrangements.

“I was away from my career for some time and was concerned about returning,” Annie explains. “I started volunteering at the nursery and now my whole family life has changed—not just the added income, but confidence to be myself.”

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Amel Daoud, 26, came to east London from Sweden and has used her experience of learning English to help others, volunteering at the Bow Idea Store for 30 hours over the next few months in return for the free training.

Amel explains: “We teach basic grammar and vocabulary, so they can speak for themselves when they go to the doctor or bank.

“I now feel I have an important role, helping those struggling to speak English confidently.”

Louise Hogger, 25, has been accepted on a Level 2 childcare course, after encouragement from children’s centre staff who helped her with her CV and to re-sit her maths GCSE. Her volunteering placement helps complete the course.

“This worked out well,” Louise said. “You volunteer as part of the course and it’s not as costly.”

Volunteering is part of the council’s Pathways to Employment course to keep tuition costs down while getting mums back to work after several years of their careers being ‘on hold’.

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