Tenants who have lost their jobs through Covid-19 lockdown have been given the opportunity to retrain so they can get back into work.
As unemployment continues to surge, the Ladders of Aspiration programme is providing hope to tenants who have lost their jobs or been furloughed during the pandemic.
The programme is run by social housing provider Riverside through its charitable foundation, and since the beginning of the epidemic has helped nearly 70 tenants’ receive training so they can gain employment in a new line of work.
Gail Jenson, Riverside’s national lead for Employment and Training Services, said: “Many of our tenants working in retail, administration, hospitality and tourism have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. However our Employment and Training team have been on hand to give them advice, support and guidance to get them back into work.
“Like many people, tenants are widening their options and looking for work in a different sector. One area that has seen a surge in growth, creating thousands of jobs is the home delivery and courier division to cope with demand as more and more people are shopping online while they self-isolate. As a result we have funded and signed tenants on to training courses to get the required qualifications to get them on the road and into work.
“The Ladders of Aspiration programme is just one of many projects that tenants can get help, others include money advice, affordable warmth service and Helping Hands service. These demonstrate our social purpose to support residents and help them overcome obstacles for a better quality of life.”
With social distancing measures in place many of the courses were through learning online with some taking place at training centres in a Covid-safe way.
In Hull, seven tenants who have been furloughed or lost their job during lockdown signed up to a training course to work in Covid vaccination and testing roles in the NHS.
“The trainer was brilliant and very knowledgeable. They talked us through everything we need to know in an emergency such as first aid, CPR, heart attacks to choking and asthma attacks. This course has helped me retrain and find a new job,” says Dawn Collinwood who did a three-day first aid course.
While Wayne Chapman added: “The trainer made us all feel at ease. We were able to learn and get lots of practical training with full PPE equipment to keep everyone safe. Thanks to the training I’ve got a new job. I’m super happy.”
Sam Foster, Riverside’s Project Officer (Employment and Training) who signed residents on to the course, explains: “Everyone enjoyed the training and we received positive feedback from participants as they have all been affected by the pandemic and found it hard to gain employment.
“This first aid training has widened their job opportunities, and we are delighted that four people have secured jobs and started work in testing roles. We are continuing to support the other three by helping them to apply for vaccination roles.”
Ladders of Aspiration was set up two years ago by the Riverside Foundation to help tenants and their families gain sustainable employment, and so far helped more than 200 people achieve their employment ambitions by providing funding to pay for training courses, professional qualifications, course materials or support a new business venture.
For more information on the Riverside Foundation and the projects available to help tenants visit https://www.riverside.org.uk/about-us/riverside-foundation/.