New jobs service helps hundreds of Hackney residents into work

An innovative local training and employment service in Hackney has helped more than 250 unemployed residents into work in its first six months.

‘Ways into Work’ takes a unique approach to tackling unemployment by working with housing providers to identify residents who would benefit from training and support to find a job.

Social housing residents in the borough are offered extra help with concerns that have stopped them from finding work in the past, including childcare costs, fear of losing benefits, lack of basic skills or experience, CV writing, interview techniques and travel costs.

By visiting communities door-to-door and through existing housing offices, community centres and events, Ways into Work staff get to know residents and are able to offer help tailored specifically to them and their families.

Employers help identify vacancies and register them with Ways into Work, and staff then match residents to suitable jobs.

To prepare them for finding a job, residents are offered training, advice on interview techniques, travel and clothing costs. Once in a job, residents are offered ongoing support to ensure their new role goes smoothly.

Susan Shaw, 52, from Dalston, had not worked for more than 20 years while she was bringing up her children. She was referred to Ways into Work by housing association Peabody Trust and completed a basic English and maths course. Susan was concerned her skills would be out of date so was found a temporary job to give her some experience and increase her confidence. She now has a full-time job working as a catering assistant at City University.

Susan said: “It’s a big step going back to work after such a long time and I was very nervous. Ways into Work really helped me to get my confidence back. Having a temporary agency job first was a good idea. Now I’m back in work, I’m really enjoying it and I’ve been promoted already.”

Martin Lall, 37, from Stoke Newington, had been out of work for eight months and wanted help to change direction from his previous role as a technical assistant. He really wanted a job that would allow him to be outdoors and meet different people. He was referred to Ways into Work by housing association Peabody Trust and completed a basic English and Maths course. Ways into Work advisors helped him to find an interview for a delivery driver for supermarket Iceland. They gave him advice on his CV and interview techniques and has now been in the job for almost six months. Martin has since referred two of his friends to the Ways into Work service.

Martin said: “All the Ways into Work staff are really supportive. They encouraged me to apply for jobs I might not have thought of going for and gave me other help including travel costs. They were also really helpful during my first few months of work. It’s good they continue to support you after you’ve got back into work.”

Ways into Work is a partnership between Hackney Council, On Site Hackney Recruitment Centre, recruitment company Talent, regeneration company Renaisi, and social housing providers: Circle 33 Housing Trust, Family Mosaic, Genesis Community, Hackney Homes, London & Quadrant Housing Trust, Newlon Fusion, Peabody Trust, Pinnacle People, Southern Housing Foundation. The partnership works closely with Jobcentre Plus.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said:

“Hackney Council is leading a ground-breaking jobs initiative, investing in the borough’s residents. Ways into Work sees a new approach to partnership working to tackle unemployment. It is a unique way of reaching out to our residents in their homes and providing advice and support to get into work.”

Residents who want to get in touch with Ways into Work can call or text:
Sandra 07525 965 365
Justin 07515 923 728