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RISE and Shine

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cedric Boston, Chief Executive of London-based Arhag Housing Association shares how its tenants' employment scheme is helping people back to work. 

It is a little mor ethan a year ago that Arhag teamed with Olmec to provide an employment course to help our tenants find work. 

The aim was to build a foundation for our largely Migrants and Refugee customers to not just find a job, but to build a career. 

RISE is co-run with Olmec, a BME-led social enterprise. So far this year, 63% of attendees found work or improved their career, compared to an average 30% on similar courses.

But these are not just any jobs. Recruiters should take heed, outcomes include operational director, employment advisor and sexual health worker. 

We all perform better when we think positively, and encouraging this is one of the strengths of RISE. We know BME people will face discrimination in the job market, but instead of dwelling on this we encourage them to focus on what they can do to secure a better outsome from the system. Similarly we know that by enabiling more BME people to turn their efforts into a successful career we are motivating the next generation. 

As well as fundamewntals like CVs, completing applications, interview technique and navigating the job market, there is more emphasis on teamwork and building confidence. 

One Arhag resident from East London who after years of working as a volunteer teaching assistant took the course was rewarded immediatly with a full-time paid job. This was down to how the course helped her self-esteem. 

She said "After joining the course I begain to see myself in another dimension. It gave me a clear understanding and confidence. I thought now I can acheive ad can give back into the community." 

We at Arhag have ambitious plans to become a 'go-to' organisation for Migrants and Refugees. We are forming partnerships with related specialist providers to offer services from arrival in the UK to full intergration. Helping migrants navigate issues like housing, but then finding jobs and setting up businesses. 


This complete article can be found via 24Housing Magazine July/August edition, issue 107.