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22 February, 2023
News Story

Supporting people to secure and sustain employment

Employment is a huge challenge for people experiencing homelessness, and Newham – where we are based – has an unemployment rate of 5.8%, which is higher than the London average of 5.3%.

During the pandemic, many of our employed residents were hard hit, working predominately in construction, warehouses, security, retail and hospitality. Many lost jobs or were furloughed and concerns rose over the impact this would have on them financially. Our team delivered budgeting advice and provided assistance to those that didn’t meet the furlough criteria. We continued to work with residents helping them reach their employment goals as the job market recovered after lockdown, though our Education, Training and Employment (ETE) support.

When a resident arrives at Your Place, we work with them to analyse their training needs, explore their motivators, existing skills and development ambitions. While every resident’s ETE journey will vary and will be adapted to suit their individual needs, our goal is to help build confidence and provide opportunities learn and gain skills. The ultimate goal is that residents are able to secure employment which is so important in being able to move on from homelessness for good.

Job application and interview support:

All residents can access CV building sessions with our job coach, focusing on writing a CV from scratch, and suggesting ways that they can improve it for a specific role they’re applying for. We also facilitate mock-interviews, where residents are given an opportunity to practise what they have learnt and receive constructive feedback on their communication skills.

Volunteering placements:

Our job coach supports residents to secure volunteering placements to support their ambition and interests. Adam, a former resident, started doing some volunteering to improve his mental health and boost his confidence. “When I lost my job, I ended up losing my home, and was too proud and afraid to ask for help. But I knew something had to change. Caritas Anchor House changed my life. I was able to focus on myself and where I wanted to get to during lockdown. I volunteered with gardening and cleaning.” Adam has now moved into his own home and started a job.

English Language support:

Many residents do not have English as their native tongue, and so we work in partnership with organisations that we can refer them for access Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, entry-level language and literacy sessions. Yahya is a former resident, and attended ESOL classes which has helped him move out and secure employment. “These classes are helping me a lot. I go twice a week. I feel my English is getting slowly better every session – little by little. When talking to people around here, I feel a lot more confident. I know this is going to help me make more friends and get a job when I move out.”

In-work support:

Once residents secure employment, our Job Coach is available to offer ‘in-work support’. This includes advice around working hours, pay and understanding procedures, and continues for their first two months in employment.  Residents also meet with our Rents and Housing Specialist to develop a new budget plan to ensure they can move towards financial sustainability.

We’re delighted to have recently been awarded a grant of £50,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation to support our Education, Training and Employment Programme. We’re very grateful for their support, which will help to support residents to secure an income, maintain a tenancy and leave homelessness behind for good. Thank you.

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