Islington is working
This March, Islington Council is celebrating supporting more than 5,500 residents into work; helping to change their lives for the better.
Over the past five years, the council and its employment support partners across the borough have used the recommendations of the 2014 employment commission to get Islington working.
It has focused on giving tailored employment support to residents and working with local employers to create job roles that are open to more local people. This important work is all part of building an inclusive economy that works for all local people.
Here are some of their inspirational stories:
James has a learning disability and spent a number of years as the primary carer for his mother. He lacked confidence in his abilities because he had little work experience and had struggled with job applications before.
After the death of his mother, James was introduced to the Community Access Project (CAP), that helps Islington residents living with learning disabilities to find work and training.
CAP secured a place for James on an innovative pilot project set up by the council’s iWork employment support team and the local NHS Foundation to split full-time NHS jobs into part-time job share roles to make them more accessible for residents.
James was helped to apply for a job as a health care assistant and the recruitment process was adjusted to take his abilities into account. He is now working part-time as a health care assistant at Stacey Street Nursing Home where he is really enjoying the job.
“I absolutely love it,” he says. “The team are incredibly supportive and I enjoy working with the residents. It gives me a real purpose. I even enjoy setting my alarm to get up at 6.30 in the morning!”
Nanu is a mum of with three children. After her youngest child started school she was keen to get paid employment to improve her family’s finances.
She met Maria Marsh the council’s iWork coach at Moreland Children’s Centre in 2014. Maria helped Nanu enrol on ACL courses to gain maths and English qualifications and to get a volunteer placement with City & Islington College.
Nanu’s long-term goal was to be a London bus driver, so Maria looked for bus driving opportunities and in May 2015 Nanu was interviewed with Go-Ahead London and was
offered a job.
Nanu celebrates four years in the job this year. She said: “With all Maria’s support, I am a happy full-time London bus driver.”
The council’s Saturday Jobs programme provides paid part-time employment to 16 and 17 year-olds in Islington. It is a great way to introduce young people to the world of work and valuable employability skills.
Esther da Silva, a Year 13 student at Central Foundation School was supported by the council’s youth employment team into a placement with Green and Fortune’s Rotunda restaurant on the Kings Cross development last year.
“The experience I have gained by working there has made me a better person and know a lot more about hospitality as well as working in such a diverse place. I love every minute of it and I honestly wouldn’t have asked for a better place to work. Also the food is great so that’s an extra bonus.”
Through the Saturday Jobs programme:
Students are paid £6 per hour and work between 2 and 6 hours per week for 12 weeks
Young people go through a recruitment process and attend an interview to give hem experience of what is involved in applying for a job
The council provides support with completing application forms, pre-interview preparation and ongoing support during the placement.