Last year my Team – TVH’s Resident Training and Employment Team – wanted to find out how the residents we had supported back into work in the previous year, were doing. We wanted to learn what the effect of returning to employment had had on their lives and their families’ lives.
We decided to research 50 of those residents to find out what difference getting a job had made to them; if this made a difference to their rent arrears, if they had sustained employment and if they were better off financially.
The results have been published in our report, 50 Families, and it makes for remarkable and highly encouraging reading, busting the negative myths about the long term unemployed. When we revisited our residents, 80% were still in employment. Those who weren’t were actively looking for more work and rent arrears were down considerably.
A key reason for this positive result is that as a housing association we are much closer to our residents than an agency such as the Job Centre can be. We are able to focus on the individual resident and identify their specific difficulties; whether that is a general lack of confidence, lack of experience or skills, or even if they are just plain unsure what they want to do. We can then tailor the work we do with them to address those issues.
Perhaps the most gratifying and arguably important result is the huge personal benefit to the residents who have returned to work, in terms of their happiness and well being. They had hugely increased confidence and self-belief. Both they, and there families were healthier, happier and much more positive about the future.
Please do read our report…
Emildah is the Resident Training and Employment Manager at TVH.