Delegates from around the world visited East Thames’ Workplace Hub in Beckton on Wednesday, to find out how it is helping local residents find work, building skills and supporting the local community.
The group was made up of senior government and business figures from countries as far afield as Malawi, Australia and Trinidad and Tobago. Their visit was part of CSCLeaders, an annual conference which brings together leaders from across the Commonwealth to share best practice.
East Thames’ employment and inclusion team shared their expertise and showed the delegates the vital service they are providing to the Newham community. The visitors learned how the team at the Hub works with local businesses to generate jobs and apprenticeship opportunities, and saw local residents taking a mock test for a construction training course.
They then spoke to East Thames’ Head of Social and Economic Regeneration, Maureen Worby, about the challenges facing Newham and the lessons East Thames had learned. The group discussed how to measure the impact of community programmes, the importance of helping people develop their computer literacy and how to address negative attitudes towards getting into work.
Daisy Ng’ambi, from the Government of Zambia’s Ministry of Gender and Child Development, said:
“I’m really impressed at the way you look at things from end to end to ensure that the people you support receive long term benefits. I think it’s phenomenal what you’re doing here.”
Muctarr Williams, from the Sierra Leone Labour Congress, said it had been a very interesting day.
“In my country, businesses come to the employment exchange and ask for specific skills, then we send the appropriate people. But here you do everything and actually help people build their skills.”
John Bryson, Employment and Inclusion Manager at East Thames, said:
“Newham has plenty of opportunities but it also faces some stubborn issues which can prevent people, particularly young people, finding work. Today the aim has been to show people from communities across the world that with the right approach to these obstacles we can really make a difference to people’s lives and to communities.”
Since it opened in 2010, the Workplace Hub has helped more than 500 people with their job searches and found work for 100 local people each year.