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MP Meets Volunteers Committed To Backing Jobseekers

Meg Hillier - MP with Employment Plus staff and jobseekers

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, visited a Salvation Army project today that is offering tailored support to people looking for work and met with people who had found work through the project.

Four days a week, The Salvation Army’s Hoxton Corps (church) runs an Employment Plus Local initiative from its New North Road base. Jobseekers can expect to receive a friendly welcome and professional advice as they take part in job searches, are guided to create quality job applications and CVs and are prepared for their return to employment.

Corps officer (church leader) Major Sally Spry said: “The Salvation Army in Hoxton wants to get alongside jobseekers as they try to find work, particularly working with those who have faced barriers in making their way back into employment or who have complex needs.

“Our role is to prepare people to become job-ready and to stay in work. help them identify any obstacles and support them as they overcome them – whether that’s building self-confidence, supporting them as they address housing or financial issues, helping with job-searching or offering guidance.

“The Salvation Army is committed to working in Hoxton, providing practical help and compassionate support to people, and empowering them to make a difference in their lives and that of the community as a whole.”

Meg Hillier MP visited Hoxton Salvation Army and saw for herself the facilities available to jobseekers. She also took the opportunity to meet with Employment Plus Local volunteers to ask them about their experiences in offering tailored support to people looking for work.

Meg Hillier said: “Hoxton Salvation Army is a great example of a compassionate community recognising a need and meeting it. Today, it has been rewarding to hear from people who came to The Salvation Army for help searching for work and who have had such great support through the Employment Plus initiative. The initiative is a community in which people can find support as they overcome barriers to employment, irrespective of their starting point, strikes a chord and I’m looking forward to seeing the initiative progress in the future.”

Meg chats with Employment Plus's Lynn Coutts and jobseeker Stephen Yoxall

The initiative has been running from Hoxton Salvation Army for four years and offers a variety of services from helping sanctioned benefit claimants to aiding in Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim forms. Volunteers provide help to a range of jobseekers, even offering basic IT teaching courses to those with little or no experience in using a computer. There is also practical advice and one-to-one support as required.

As part of the national Salvation Army Employment Plus service volunteers receive ongoing guidance, support and training to help people who are unemployed find and stay in work. Becoming part of a community where people are building their confidence, job skills, and discovering new things about themselves - these are some of the positive benefits The Salvation Army has seen people gain from being in work, volunteering or taking part in a work-experience placement through the help of The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army also provides short-term work-experience placements, which are arranged at a local level. Participants benefit from gaining work experience, a recent reference and in gaining confidence - they also help their local community. No placements are in place of paid work and we trust our local representatives to provide valuable professional experience.

Many people have secured permanent employment subsequent to their placement with The Salvation Army and have said that the time they spent on placement with The Salvation Army contributed greatly to their job-seeking experience and credentials.