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Almost 2, 000 helped into work by Ealing charity

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Almost 2, 000 people struggling to find work, across Ealing and its surrounding areas, discovered training and employment opportunities at the Catalyst Employment and Skills Centre in 2014.

To mark this exceptional achievement, 100 past and present clients joined in celebrations at the West Ealing centre which included a performance of the do$h play, ‘Debt Monster’. This was an opportunity for those that had found employment to catch up with team that had helped them as well as an occasion to help those still job hunting with advice and workshops.

This was a joint celebration with do$h, a project funded by the Big Lottery Fund,  aimed at helping the financially vulnerable in Ealing with their debts, overdrafts and saving. do$h has been working alongside A2 Dominion and Ealing Council and has so far received over 170 referrals.  Future plans for the Employment and Skills Centre and do$h include working intensively in regeneration areas such as Havelock.

One of the key aspects of the Employment and Skills Centre is working in partnership with various organisations such as Accession, Ealing Council, Job Centre Plus and local businesses. The centre also offers pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship schemes. It is increasingly recognised by businesses that apprentices are a more desirable candidate for employment than those straight out of mainstream education and with the cost of going to university soaring, apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for young people to earn as they learn.

Since 2013 Catalyst has recruited over 20 apprentices in house as well as creating 16 construction apprentices on our major regeneration schemes.  Research by the Skills Funding Agency showed a 40 per cent drop in Londoners taking part in construction apprenticeships between 2008 and 2013. We will be working even closer with our contractors to create more apprenticeship opportunities for local people on our developments.

Gary Lewis, a former client of the centre said:

‘I was unemployed for over 30 years. I was sick of my lack of independence and really wanted to find work. I noticed the Employment and Skills Centre on the bus one day and was curious about how they could help me. In 6 months with the centre I had reworked my CV and learned key skills. I’m now working as Christmas staff at the Post Office and hope to be kept on full time.’

Kerry Starling, head of employment and skills said:

‘Despite the stereotypical view of Ealing as a leafy London suburb, the borough has some of the country’s most income deprived wards. It is vital that we give support to those that need it.

‘At the Catalyst Gateway Employment and Skills Centre we help people find work and get the training and support they need to get a job. We can help with CV writing, interview skills and confidence-building training. We also offer 1-to-1 job search sessions, work experience opportunities and apprenticeships.’

The centre is open for drop in sessions Monday – Friday. To contact the Employment and Skills Centre call 0845 437 9705 or visit the team 1st Floor St James House, 105-113 Broadway, London W13 9DH.

do$h holds weekly mentoring services across the borough of Ealing and offers free legal advice at Windmill Park Children’s Centre and Southall Job Centre on an appointment basis.