New funding scheme helps get Newham students into work

Neil Baulita explains how he was supported by the Learning Revolution Trust

Neil Baulita explains how he was supported by the Learning Revolution Trust - Credit: Learning Revolution Trust

A new charity fund has been launched to help Newham students make the costly transition from education to work.

William Downey was provided with funds for a new suit thanks to the Worlk Ready Initiative

William Downey was provided with funds for a new suit thanks to the Worlk Ready Initiative - Credit: William Downey

The Work Ready Initiative, officially launched on Thursday last week, is open to students from Newham College and Newham College University Centre (NUC) and should benefit up to 750 people over the next three years.

A financial grant of up to £150 per applicant can be put towards practical costs that may previously have been a barrier to employment for some. The money can be used for travel, specialist equipment, clothing and even childcare.

Martin Cumella, chair of the Learning Revolution Trust, which launched the scheme, said: “Our research showed that often small amounts of money needed to cover the initial costs of travel to work, clothes suitable for interviews or a new job situation, or specialist equipment were getting in the way of people taking up job and apprenticeship opportunities.

“Through Work Ready we will provide this support for to up to 250 people over the next 12 months, working closely with Newham Council and Job Centre Plus to ensure that the money reaches the people who need it most.”


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William Downey, 19, managed to secure a job in accounts at city firm Icap, after being provided with funds for a new suit to impress his prospective employers.

The former sixth form student said: “It’s more practical help. It’s not just someone giving you advice and saying what you should do. You don’t really get that from anyone else.

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“It’s a very good thing to do. They like to help you out a lot.”

The charity is also encouraging new work partners to add their support through financial discounts, donations-in-kind, work experience placements and mentoring. John Lewis is already a partner.

The Learning Revolution Trust aims to make further education accessible to all young people in East London.

Email gina.burgess@newham.ac.uk to find out more.

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