Clarion’s 'Love London Working' programme has supported 3,800 BAME Londoners to secure work, 69% of the total number to have accessed the scheme.
Launched in January 2016, 'Love London Working' is a programme that supports long-term unemployed and economically inactive Londoners into work. The programme is open to anyone over 16 years old and caters to the needs of a wide variety of Londoners - from young people seeking their first full time role, to those returning to the labour market after years as a full time parent.
The £34 million programme included delivery from 15 housing associations during 2019. Led by Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, the programme is funded through the European Social Fund (ESF), with match funding provided by the partners, and is managed by the Greater London Authority (GLA).
Every person who registers on the programme is paired with a specialist adviser employed by one of the housing associations and provided with a bespoke plan to support them into work. Activity includes CV drafting, interview practice, assistance in searching for vacancies and the provision of formal training. The emphasis is not only on helping people into work, but sustaining employment for the long-term, with support from advisers lasting up to six months after starting work.
London is a city celebrated for its diverse communities. For this reason, the support available through 'Love London Working' has been developed to ensure it is accessible to people from all backgrounds.
To maximise engagement and success, services are tailored to the needs of specific areas and the communities that live there. In the Poplar area of Tower Hamlets, for example, 'Love London Working' supports the Bengali community to address the barriers they often face when it comes to securing employment. Advisers deliver functional skills and English as a second language support, as well as providing a safe, secure learning environment in the local community with access to the latest technology. Childcare is also provided in addition to financial support with travel or clothing for work.
Being a central part of the community means that Love London Working advisers are aware of the local labour market enabling them to access the opportunities that exist, in this case within the Bengali community. This allows people to find work sooner and address the barriers they may have to developing a career or sustaining employment. This approach is applied to every borough where 'Love London Working' is delivered, enabling advisers to provide truly tailored support to communities and transform lives.
Since its launch in 2016, the programme has supported more than 5,600 people into employment across the capital, with more than 3,800 BAME Londoners securing work after participating in the voluntary employment programme, equivalent to 69% of all those supported.
Following the success of its first three years, additional funding has been secured to enable the programme to run until 2023, supporting thousands more Londoners, including those from BAME communities, into work.
Amel Bennaceur - Love London Working participant - said: “After gaining support from Love London Working, I felt secure and ready to work. My adviser gave me lots of confidence regarding writing a CV and cover letter, as I had never done it before. I’ve now started my new job and would like to say thank you very much!”
Hayat Ahmed - Love London Working participant - said: “I was struggling to adapt to my new life in the UK and didn’t know where to go for help. A friend told me about Love London Working, and I was paired with an adviser who was also from Somalia. This really helped as she understood the cultural and language barriers and thanks to her support, I’ve been able to secure paid employment.”
Phil Miles, Director of Clarion Futures, said: “It is a privilege for Clarion Futures to lead the delivery of Love London Working and we are particularly pleased to have supported Londoners from so many different backgrounds into employment. It is a powerful demonstration of what housing associations can achieve through the strong ties we have with our communities.”