John “two jobs” Biggs has issued no official statement on the Council’s “employment day” held in Bethnal Green last month. He seems to have delegated the commenting to Cllr Joshua Peck, Cabinet Member for Work and Economic Growth, who said: “Supporting residents into training and employment is a key priority for the council and I am pleased to hear of the positive attendance at the event this week.” The Council report suggests that only 43 people received specific help on the day, which will have done little more than scrape the surface of the problems out here.
The Council reports that the event offered residents information on courses and skills such as writing CVs. Basic Literacy and Numeracy assessments were done, and information was provided on access to training programmes to help attendees find the right pathway into work. Information on making connections with employers was also offered. Local organisations which attended included the Family Intervention Team, Idea Store Learning, the Women’s Health and Family Service and Jobcentre Plus.
The event had a special focus on women. To help address the traditionally higher levels of unemployment among women in the borough there were details of available work placements. The available information included recruitment to the Women in Health programme. This is a six month paid work experience placement with training and the opportunity to obtain qualifications which had been prepared under Lutfur Rahman’s Administration and was launched on 28th May 2015, shortly before John Biggs took over the Administration. As a result of the recent day, twenty-three women have been invited back for further screening for the Women into Health & Social Care programme.
Cllr Peck continued: “Finding a good job can be very difficult, especially where people face extra barriers including a lack of language and communications skills, or without access to good quality childcare. The council is committed to working with our local partners and support residents to break down the extra challenges they face when looking for good jobs or training opportunities.” He did not comment on any strategies to improve childcare locally.
The Council has pledged that all those who attended the event will be offered follow up support based on their needs. It has reported that six women have already signed up to be volunteers at Idea Stores and 14 women were referred to Idea Store Learning for ESOL (English for speakers of other languages).