Launch of new Redbridge website opens the door to employment

A “virtual hub” helping Redbridge’s unemployed get back into work has been launched.

More than thirty of the borough’s employment and skills providers have linked up with Work Redbridge, an online portal it is hoped will be a lifeline to people trying to find a way back into employment.

As well as helping people find work, the portal offers volunteering and training opportunities, as well as support with everything from writing a CV to interview techniques.

And two mums looking to get back into work believe the new online hub will help countless people.

Fatma Surmen, 45, has been unemployed for 10 years while looking after her three children.

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After visiting charity Barnabas Workshops in High Road, Ilford, the Hainault mum was given help writing her CV and advice she says boosted her confidence.

She now volunteers at the charity once a week and is currently looking for a paid job.

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She said: “It’s easier to find a job if you’ve come out of education, but if you’re older I think it’s much harder.”

Friend Jackie Tredgold, 44, of Woodford Green, agrees.

The mum-of-two said: “It can be embarrassing for people of my age when you don’t know how to use a computer and there are all these new technologies.

“I think Work Redbridge is great because it brings everything together for people.”

In Redbridge, there are 7,224 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, which accounts for 4.1 per cent of the working population, almost identical to the London-wide percentage.

As part of Work Redbridge, outreach sessions are being held every Tuesday from 11am-1pm to give people the chance to get employment advice and information.

Organisations involved in the scheme include Redbridge College, Connexions and Barnabas Workshops, whose chief executive Bernadette Benn said: “It can be quite confusing for people to go to four or five different places to get different advice and information, so having it all in one place is very good.”

Work Redbridge was launched on Wednesday in Fullwell Cross Library, High Street, Barkingside.

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