New report suggests employment at all-time high

Jobcentre Plus. Pic: Emma Myers

Jobcentre Plus. Pic: Emma Myers

The employment rate in Tower Hamlets is at its highest since records began in 2004, according to a new report.

An annual population survey by the Office for National Statistics reported that 68.1 per cent of the borough’s population is currently employed. This is a 4.2 per cent increase from December 2013.

Tower Hamlets is now 3.7 per cent behind the national average employment rate. The council believes this is due to its work in addressing unemployment.

The council has introduced a number of schemes to help improve employment within the borough. Tower Hamlets has been working closely with Skillsmatch, a recruitment service that helps businesses to recruit local talent from the area. It has also been working with schools, teachers, parents and young people to increase the number of people moving from education into the workforce.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Oliur Rahman said: “It’s wonderful to see the hard work going on in the council reflected by these figures. We’ll continue to support and advise people who need help to access all the new jobs being created and help them get on a career path that best suits them.”

One programme ThinkForward, has dedicated the last four years to help young people gain the experience and support needed to ensure they do not fall out of education, employment or training.

ThinkForward’s Managing Director Kevin Munday commented on the high employment rate: “We know there is so much work yet to be done, but it is a reassuring sign that progress is being made in our community. For the last four years ThinkForward has focused on improving how young people successfully transition from learning to earning.

“We work with over 600 young people from seven of the 14 secondary schools in Tower Hamlets to ensure that the young people who are faced with challenges at home and school and receive the support they need to get and keep a job.”

ThinkForward’s newest annual report shows that 96 per cent of the 17 to 18-year-olds participating in their program are currently in further education, employment or training.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “These latest employment statistics are recognition that our hard work is really paying off. We have helped a large number of residents into employment through services like Skillsmatch and Working Start, and we need to keep up the momentum to ensure our employment figures continue to go up quarter on quarter.”

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