Course boosting chance of jobs in Stratford

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 March 2017

Jem Barton, John Mayford and Buttons Iyalla

Jem Barton, John Mayford and Buttons Iyalla


Residents of Arhag Housing Association have been learning and getting tips to boost their chances of securing jobs.

Jem Barton, John Mayford and Buttons IyallaJem Barton, John Mayford and Buttons Iyalla

The housing association, which has 450 properties across the borough, has joined forces with social enteprise Olmec to help their residents into work with a training course at Stratford Library.

The course, Rise Into Employment, involves five weekly sessions of group learning, followed by five weeks in guaranteed volunteer or work placements, before landing an NCFE entry level qualification in employability.

John Mayford, chief executive of Olmec, said: “We really focus on the development of individuals and we like to focus on making sure they’re working towards there aspirations.

“It’s very important to focus on individual needs to help them realise their full potential, so we find out what is there dream job and work backwards from there.”

It could be anything from help writing CVs, interview tips, job search assistance, training oppportunities or just work placements.

“Lots of people are in work, but in work poverty, we have to put people first and priortise their needs,” he said.

“Our target was to get 30 people on the course and it’s gone above that, we have 37 participants.”

Olmec and Arhag have joined in partnership for the next five years to run courses across the capital, especially in the borough of Newham, where they have linked up with the library at the Grove.

Participant, Jem Barton, said: “It’s basically giving you skills for life, the way he breaks it down gives you the inside of what we need to achieve.

“I’m dyslexic, so I need a system in place, which I’ve been given here - then once I have seen that I’m able to apply it.”

The former chef, civil 
service worker and probation officer, believes this course will take her 
to the next level.

“I think what happens in society, is people say go get a job, but people don’t want a job they want a career.”

While, Buttons Iyalla, who is also on the course said: “It’s great, as it comes with a work placement, so we’re all hoping we can go into places and get good experience.”

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