Hackney Community Hub’s fresh approach to supporting disadvantaged jobseekers impresses Minister for Disabled People

Shaw Trust Hackney Community Hub

Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP, has praised Shaw Trust’s innovative Community Hub which has improved the delivery of employment support. The hub is based in the heart of Hackney where it offers support to some of the most disadvantaged people in London.

National employment, learning and skills charity, Shaw Trust, welcomed the Minister to its hub to witness first-hand how the transformed centre, operating with additional advisors and reduced caseload sizes, is transforming the lives of  vulnerable people. At the hub, jobseekers receive a bespoke service that is tailored to their specific needs to help them overcome the barriers holding them back from finding employment.

The Community Hub was launched last November in Hackney where the charity delivers the Work Programme – a back to work scheme supporting the long-term unemployed into sustainable employment. Shaw Trust’s hub is designed to provide a professional and friendly environment, giving Work Programme jobseekers direct access to a range of expert advice from health professionals to information on money management. This holistic approach has never before been trialled by a Work Programme prime provider and marks an exciting new phase in support for disadvantaged communities.  Shaw Trust’s Community Hubs are under a review by the Work Foundation who are evaluating the new model and will publish their findings later this year.

The Minister also found out more about the charity’s research, discussing the Trust’s report, ‘Making Work a Real Choice: Where next for specialist disability employment support?’, which sets out the importance of retaining a specialist disability employment programme. Shaw Trust believes that it is important to build on the foundations of Work Choice to help even more people with disabilities find sustainable employment.

Having gained further insight into the full range of Shaw Trust’s services and activities, the Minister praised the Community Hub for playing a ground-breaking role in the lives of people from Hackney, providing them a platform to progress, find work and take control of their futures.

Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson MP, said:

“The work I have seen today is incredibly exciting. The Government and partners like Shaw Trust can work together to build on the progress we’ve already made in increasing the numbers of disabled people in employment. Speaking to people here brought home to me once again the sense of pride and purpose that finding work can give. I am determined, as I’m sure Shaw Trust are, to continue to help people achieve their goals of a steady wage and a secure job.”

Roy O’Shaughnessy, Chief Executive of Shaw Trust, added:

“Shaw Trust took an important step forward last year when we opened a Community Hub in Hackney. It is a valued community facility that is offering disadvantaged people better life opportunities. I was delighted to welcome the Minister for Disabled People to the hub so that he could learn more about Shaw Trust’s mission to reduce unemployment and increase social inclusion.

“It is very positive news that the Government has pledged to halve the disability employment gap. Our own research has found strong support for retaining a specialist disability employment programme to help reduce the number of unemployed disabled people. Shaw Trust looks forward to working with the Minister to realise our shared goal of ensuring the job market is open to and fair for all.”

About Shaw Trust

Shaw Trust is a national employment, learning and skills charity that helps people facing disadvantage into work, gain skills and take control of their futures. Over the past thirty years, the Trust has striven to combine its charitable heart with its commercial brain to provide the very best support to the people it was set up to serve. www.shaw-trust.org.uk

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