Our borough's diversity is one of its greatest strengths and most migrant residents do well for themselves in Hackney, living full lives here. However, we know that there can be challenges too. Research carried out in spring 2017 showed that migrants, particularly vulnerable migrants, sometimes struggle to receive the right advice and support. Some people might find it hard to get sustainable work because of language barriers or lack of experience in the UK job market.
We're providing support for people facing these challenges by:
- helping you to access local services
- providing language and employability support
- providing specialist training for our staff who support migrants
English and employability support
We're funding extra weekly English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) advice sessions where you can have your level of English checked and get advice on suitable local classes.
We're also running new English for Employment courses for residents who want to improve their English and find out more about work in the UK. The ESOL courses are available in the morning, afternoon and evening. As well as classroom sessions, you'll receive one-to-one support from an employment advisor, get access to local job vacancies and have the chance to gain relevant work experience by volunteering in a local charity.
Help with local services
Whether housing or benefits advice, ESOL classes or childcare, local services can be hard to navigate, especially for people who are unfamiliar with UK systems.
Our migrant support adviser from Praxis Community Projects, a specialist migrant organisation, is helping to improve migrant residents' access to the services they need and advising Council staff on migrants' rights and entitlements and how best to help them. They can also support residents with the greatest need to access services, such as helping them to find the correct service or accompanying them to an important appointment.
Voluntary and community sector organisations
Capacity building programme
Voluntary and community sector organisations play a very important role in supporting migrants in Hackney. Ten local organisations will have the opportunity to take part in a capacity building programme run by Hackney CVS, which will support them to develop their organisational capacity, build skills within the organisation and strengthen local partnerships and networks.
Praxis Community Projects will offer training to staff and volunteers from these organisations in providing signposting and advice to migrants, helping the organisations achieve better outcomes for the people they support. The capacity building programme will start in January 2018, and local organisations can apply to take part. For more information, please contact Hackney CVS.
ESOL advice for your service users
If your organisation has a group of residents who want to join an ESOL class we can offer bespoke ESOL advice sessions, in addition to the regular day time and evening advice sessions.
The opportunity to diversify your volunteer base
Volunteer Centre Hackney can help you to develop and promote volunteer roles in your organisation to attract a diverse range of volunteers. Volunteers recruited through our Integrated Communities programme will speak at least one community language, and have English language skills at a minimum of Entry Level 3 (intermediate level).
They also offer free training to help your organisation engage and retain volunteers, access to networking events, and can advise you on good practice for working with volunteers. For more information, please contact Volunteer Centre Hackney.