Newham residents to be given help to escape the ‘poverty trap’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 January 2017

A visitor receives advice. Picture Prospects.

A visitor receives advice. Picture Prospects.

©David Gee Tel +44 (0)20 8892 7449 Mob +44 (0)7711 701973

More than 400 people on a low income in Newham will be supported to escape the “poverty trap”.

Employment, education, and training company Prospects have been awarded a contact until August 2018 to help residents and especially parents improve their lives for their families.

Research by Trust for London shows that 43 per cent of part-time jobs are low paid, compared to 30pc 10 years-ago.

To help people escape this situation, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the European Social Fund (ESF) have appointed Prospects to find ways to support people to get better paid, more stable jobs and businesses to increase productivity and improve skills of their employees.

Andrew Moore, project lead said: “This initiative will support more than 400 people in Newham, particularly parents and lone parents in low paid and/or unstable employment to increase their wage and gain more stable jobs that lift them out of poverty.

“This is important as it will address a London specific issue of underemployment, helping people to progress but also reducing dependency on Universal Credit through wage progression.

“This is essential if the government is to reduce the growing benefit bill.”

Prospects will work with partners including the National Careers Service to identify people who need extra support.

The help given will be adapted to work around people’s childcare needs which is often a huge barrier for families.

Everyone supported will receive a plan tailored to their needs, which could include mentoring, face to face coaching or taking part in activities to improve their soft skills, basic skills, employability skills and work shadowing.

In addition, Prospects will work with employers to help them “upskill” their workforce to address their skills shortages and develop the potential of their own staff. Prospects believe this will increase staff engagement and workforce productivity, helping both the low paid workers and employers to improve London’s economy.

The scheme is also being set up in neighbouring boroughs, including Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham, and Tower Hamlets, and in total 4,650 people could benefit across London.

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