Work still up for grabs in East End, unemployed told

WITH job cuts a certainty in the coming months, careers advisors insisted there are still positions up for grabs in the borough during a jobs fair.

Representatives from the fire brigade, police, Navy and other organisations held advice stalls at York Hall, in Bethnal Green on Thursday as scores of residents arrived with the a mutual aim – to find work.

The police and fire brigade have a freeze on recruitment for the foreseeable future, and the focus of several stalls was on volunteer work, leaving some residents despondent about their chances of landing paid employment.

Melissa Isaac-Jared, 19, of Brick Lane, is a student in need of a part time job.

She said: “They tell you to volunteer but what about money to live?

“All my friends are looking for work. A lot of companies are using young people in work experience because they know we are desperate.”

Mum-of-four Sultana Rahman has been unemployed for five years.

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She carried out three years voluntary work at St Matthias Primary school, in Shoreditch but didn’t get a job.

The 40-year-old, of Turin estate, Bethnal Green, said: “It’s hard being unemployed. My husband doesn’t work either. Two of my children are at university now and I hope they find work easily in their lives.”

During a speech, mayor Lulfur Rahman said helping East Enders find jobs would be a key part of his agenda in the coming months.

Tower Hamlets has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, with recent figures showing East Enders are most at risk of being jobless long term.

Coordinator of the event, Ishmail Salad, knows from experience though that work can be found through initiatives like this.

He landed his job after attending a similar function in February.

Mr Salad said: “There are jobs. I’m living proof things like this work.

“Volunteering can help give them essential skills and get involved in their community so it too is important.”

Volunteering looks set to become a route for many residents.

The police drive to recruit special constables - who do not get paid but have the same responsibilities as regular officers - is on the up.

As a result of the Olympics, Bethnal Green ward alone is being given the funds to train 266 specials – a huge increase from the 107 currently working.

Becoming a special is now perceived to be the route into the force and they will be considered first when recruitment starts again.

Meanwhile, 250 to 300 paid jobs will soon be available through the Office of National Statistics.

As 2011 will be a Census year, residents are needed for part time and full time positions as information collectors and supervisors.

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