The WorkPath programme in Tower Hamlets has reached its target in its first year by helping over 5,000 residents find work or provide training for them.
WorkPath, launched in April 2017 by Tower Hamlets Council, is an employment service which aims to provide jobs, support and training for residents of the borough, who are looking for a job or looking to change their career direction.
In the past year, the programme has engaged with men and women of all ages and ethnicities across the borough.
Single mum Salma Hussain, 28, got an offer from hotel chain Travelodge after completing a training programme with WorkPath: “I was referred to WorkPath through Job Centre Plus. I completed the World Host customer service programme which helped me to get the job at Travelodge.
“WorkPath is brilliant. I enjoyed the group sessions, the pre-interviews with the friendly staff. The team are so friendly and it is a big help to single parents like me who are looking to get back into work.
“I would really recommend WorkPath. Come along and give it a go.”
WorkPath assesses every candidate to establish what level of support the individual needs. The clients who are deemed to be ready to enter the workplace immediately are invited to meet with a personal job broker who will connect them to available vacancies and partner employers.
However, some residents looking for work in the borough face challenges such as childcare obligations, poor computer literacy and poor physical or mental health.
The team at WorkPath work closely with employers to better understand the current job market and to make sure residents can acquire the skills that businesses are looking for.
The interaction with employers has lead to an establishment of sector-specific programmes, which focus on areas such as construction, hospitality, healthcare and childcare.
Recently WorkPath came to identify that residents in their 50s are facing particular obstacles in their search to get back to work. This initiated the Working Star: 50+ programme, which provides paid work placements in various sectors of work for residents aged over 50 who are in the process of changing their careers or getting back to work. The first cohort on this programme has recently entered work.
Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth, Councillor Motin Uz-Zaman said: “I am delighted that WorkPath has exceeded our ambitious target of getting 5,000 residents into training or employment in its first year.
“We are also well on track to meet the commitment I made in November to create 1,000 new apprenticeship places by 2020.
“Talking to residents who have benefitted from WorkPath, it was clear just what a difference it has made in ensuring people benefit from the opportunities we have in the borough.
“WorkPath is enabling our residents to access training and help them overcome barriers to find a job.
“I am delighted to have joined the cabinet as the new member for Work and Economic Growth and look forward to building on the record of WorkPath to deliver for residents.”
For more information on WorkPath, click here. https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/jobs_and_careers/employment_and_training_initia/Workpath/WorkPath.aspx