Six ‘on the dole’ find jobs after mentoring scheme by Barclays bank

Barclay's mentor Ashley Calvert with graduate Leah Simpson

Barclay's mentor Ashley Calvert with graduate Leah Simpson - Credit: East Thames Housing

Six unemployed people struggling to find work in East London have all landed jobs after graduating from a mentoring scheme run by East Thames Housing with Barclays Bank.

The enthusiastic learners from all ages and walks of life were allocated a Barclays mentor through a networking session held at the bank group’s head office in Canary Wharf.

The mentors took them through a 12-week course to give them the ‘soft skills’ needed to secure a job.

The sessions covered subjects such as interview skills and presentation to help those taking part to identify their career goals.

“Without this scheme I would be down in the dumps, sat at home,” 22-year-old Leah Simpson admitted. “My mentor Ashley helped me to get the confidence to walk into a shop and ask for a job—and I got it!”

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Leah had been struggling to find work and would have just been at home in Dagenham unemployed, had it not been for the scheme.

Leah’s mentor, Ashley Calvert, said: “Mentoring is offering ideas and helping those taking part with new skills and building their confidence.

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“A little guidance and encouragement goes a long way—it’s been wonderful seeing Leah take action and help herself.”

Six of those taking part gained the skills to secure jobs, while the others are putting their newly-found confidence into practice in applications and interviews.

The programme also helps them consider options and to focus on the most suitable path and training they might need to get there.

East Thames employment manager John Bryson said: “We’re supporting people to build their own futures using their own skills.”

The mentoring scheme has so far helped 286 people into work in the last year alone, with more schemes soon being drawn up.

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