Work scheme does the job for former unemployed Stonebridge resident


A work scheme for unemployed council tenants in Brent has helped to deliver a full time job for the first resident to sign up.

Chuffed Iftekhar Chowdhury from Stonebridge has just started his new role as a receptionist at Curzon Crescent and Fawood Children's Centres based in Willesden and Stonebridge following his three month stint on Brent Housing Partnership's (BHP) Resident Volunteer Scheme.

The scheme was launched in August 2015 and is designed to help residents develop skills to find employment or to enable them to gain confidence to get back into work.

It is part of a larger initiative with Brent Council, to reduce the impact of welfare reforms on residents and increase the number of residents in work.

During his placement Iftekhar worked across a number of front line services at BHP such as the Customer Response and Repairs Teams with the experience helping him to "sharpen his work skills" after he had been unemployed for some time.

He said: "This scheme has helped me back into the 9 to 5 regime and sharpened my focus. It also helped me build professional relationships with BHP officers who gave me training and support and excellent references."

Iftekhar is glad to be getting stuck into his new role and is really enthusiastic about the job and his new workplace.

He said: "The Children's Centres have a great team in place, committed to serving the diverse community within Brent. The main focus of course is dealing with children under five years old but there are also lots of courses and drop in sessions ranging from English classes to Citizen's Advice Bureau sessions for the parents."  

Christina Byrne, BHP Community Leadership Manager said: "We're really pleased that Iftekhar has found this job and I think it's a reflection on all the hard work he put in and skills he's leant whilst he was on work placement with us. We're pleased that the scheme has given residents such as Iftekhar the opportunity to gain invaluable skills in a workplace environment and enable them to find employment."