Our ground-breaking employment scheme, RISE, developed in partnership with BME-led Social Enterprise, Olmec, has proved so popular it has been extended to 14 other landlords in London.
The expansion is part of our aim to become a go-to organisation for migrants and refugees in the capital.
But it is also a measure of RISE into Employment’s success, which has seen 63% of those on the course get a job or improve their career prospects. Similar courses average around 30%.
RISE, in its second year, is co-run by Olmec, a BME-led social enterprise, and has NCFE accreditation.
Fourteen separate London housing associations have signed up for a total of 20 places on the next course, which launches with on open day this Saturday (Sept 9) at Newham Library, Stratford, East London, ahead of a start next month.
The arrangement is due to continue for the next two years.
Arhag chief executive, Cedric Boston, said: “This is another step to expanding our services. We want RISE to reach many more people from the migrant and refugee communities across London.
“The fact that 14 HAs have seen the benefits of the course shows that we are doing something right.
“Outcomes from previous courses include jobs as an operational director, employment adviser, sexual health worker and classroom assistant.
“We know that BME people 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 outcome from the system.”
The course led by John Mayford, of Olmec, teaches fundamentals like CVs, application forms, interview technique and navigating the job market.
But there is equal emphasis on building confidence and teamwork.
Vanessa Harrison, 31, of Tottenham, (pictured) had been unable to find work after losing a retail job but said the RISE course gave her great self-belief.
She is now a trainee housing officer, helping to solve rent problems and dealing with anti social behaviour reports among other things.
She said: “I loved RISE so much. John was such a huge help in building up confidence.
“The work I am doing now is so much more satisfying, rewarding and worthwhile.”