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Job help ‘changed everything’

Job help ‘changed everything’

Mohamed Abduranman

“Everything turned around for me,” Mohamed told us after the help he received from the council in finding a job. And, you can get help too if you are struggling with employment because of the coronavirus crisis.

Despite the pandemic, the future is looking bright for Northolt resident, Mohamed Abduranman. After losing his job in 2018, he had two years of challenges and disappointment.  

This year, Mohamed had the breakthrough he needed and he now has a new job and a new home, benefiting from two-fold financial security and stability.

After being made redundant as a sound system engineer in 2018, Mohamed decided to attend one of the council’s work clubs to get advice and support.

“People get into situations with council tax, rent and debt, and the council can help not only with work, but they help with council tax, universal credit; they help with everything,” said Mohamed.  “They told me how to achieve, to set up yourself, to manage yourself, to be free from debt and everything.”  

Mohamed soon found a new job but his luck did not last. He was made redundant three times over the two years. During this time, he continued to seek support through the work clubs and was advised to retrain.  

“I didn’t know where to start and they suggested I change my work and gave direction on where to find training,” he said. 

“They told me it is better to change from maintenance to different work. They pointed me in the right direction and I have completely changed. I am not a maintenance man now. I have done loads of certificates and qualifications and I have lots of new skills.”

For Mohamed, training was key to accessing new employment opportunities. His persistence has led him to a new job as a warehouse operative at Heathrow Airport, where he continues to be employed.

“I had almost two years that were very difficult, but they [the work club advisors] lifted me up to the moon,” he said.

‘Everything has changed now’

As Mohamed’s circumstances changed, he was advised to downsize from a four-bed house to a one-bed flat in order to pay his bills.

“Everything has changed now,” he said. “I applied for accommodation through a local housing association and I got help with the deposit to move to a new home. Thanks to the advice and support of from the work club advisors. That’s support we get, it is completely one package. I am over the moon. They lifted me up from the floor.

“I had to save money and make sacrifices for the training, but it was worth it in the long run and I have been able to stay in the same area and I am one of the Ealing family.

“I will never forget them,” he added. “I got back on my feet and everything has come back all in one time. Everything turned around for me.”

Help is still available

In light of the government’s advice on social distancing, the council’s work clubs are currently suspended but vital support is still available.

Residents are encouraged to visit ealingworkwest.com for information on careers advice, recruitment guidance, training courses and more. For those who want additional help, advisors are available. Contact the team by email at west@ealing.gov.uk or call 020 8825 8486 for direct support.  The team can also refer residents to other services for financial support and guidance.

Councillor Jasbir Anand, the council’s cabinet member for business and community services, said: “These have been challenging and uncertain times for many of our residents, many who were maybe furloughed and worried about their jobs, or struggling to get in to work.

“Our virtual ‘front door’ is open and we are still here for you and can offer advice and support to get you on track. We have careers advisors who can discuss your circumstances and identify options, recruitment support to take the next step and online training to help you gain new qualifications and improve your skills.”

Other careers help

  • The council’s adult learning service is providing online lessons throughout the summer – including some free courses available until July. Visit www.ealingadultlearning.org.uk
  • The Skills Toolkit is a new government website, which provides to free digital and numeracy courses. Visit theskillstoolkit.campaign.gov.uk
  • Jobhelp is a new website from Jobcentre Plus to help people looking for work. Packed with tips, guidance, and the latest vacancies, the site highlights recruitment drives in expanding sectors, making it a really good starting point for anyone looking for the next step. Visit jobhelp.dwp.gov.uk
  • The National Careers Service offers free and impartial information, advice and guidance to help you with your decisions about careers, courses and work. Use its career tools to explore careers, find out about your own skills, find a course or get advice about getting a job. Visit: nationalcareers.service.gov.uk

Financial support

The council created a £1.5million COVID-19 emergency fund to help people whose incomes have been affected by the lockdown.

Measures available as part of the new fund include the option to defer council tax payments for up to three months, or up to six months if you are self-employed. People facing exceptional hardship can apply for a discretionary reduction in council tax. To add to this, the council’s local welfare assistance service has been boosted by the COVID-19 emergency fund, ensuring residents who need help can buy food and medicine and pay for living expenses. Discretionary housing payments are also available to top-up housing-related benefits to cover costs such as rent.

Find out more at www.ealing.gov.uk/coronavirus