The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has one of the highest levels of unemployment in England. Shadwell and Wapping are a part of the borough that has seen some of the highest if not the most number of people aged between 16 – 25 who are not in education, employment or training. To make matters worse the Shadwell area has gained notoriety over the past 10 to 15 years for gang conflicts linked to drugs that has caused a high percentage of its residents to become long term unemployed.


The Road to Work project based in Shadwell, was set up in 2009 after growing demands to address high levels of unemployment in the Shadwell and Wapping area. The project works very closely with Tower Hamlets Council and various housing associations including Tower Hamlets Community Housing to provide residents intensive support that decrease illiteracy & poverty and increase employment and training prospects, with the ultimate goal of enabling residents to secure themselves sustainable employment.


In the little time the project has been around we have received an enormous amount of interest from people in Shadwell & Wapping, across Tower Hamlets and even from neighbouring boroughs. The Road 2 Work project has successfully engaged with hundreds of people who have received training and support to improve their confidence, motivation and ‘employability’.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to reduce poverty in Tower Hamlets by preparing the unemployed to secure sustainable employment.


‘a developed and skilled workforce engaged in an economically active and thriving community’


  1. Fairness & Equality: we ensure that opportunities are accessible to everyone, there is no favouritism and everyone receives the right amount of support they need.
  2. Professionalism: all are staff undergo training to deliver a friendly and effective service that has a high standard of customer service.
  3. Reliability & honesty: We keep to our words, we won’t let you down, we will provide you with 100% of our service and won’t cut corners.
  4. Efficiency: we won’t waste your time, we aim to deliver our services to you as quickly as possible so that you may benefit from our support and enable you to achieve your goals.

Our Aims & Objectives

  1. Reach out to all sections of the community through link work with other agencies
  2. Inspire and motivate people to achieve through independent and impartial information, advice & guidance
  3. Raise awareness on and enable easy access to training & employment opportunities
  4. Deliver training opportunities that will equip people with skills to enable them to maximise their potential for a successful career
  5. Engage with and encourage those that are hard to reach through detached work
  6. Actively listen to the community and deliver bespoke innovative learning and teaching interventions to enhance employability
  7. Empower people through work placements, internships and apprenticeships that provide a positive work experience and employability skills that will motivate them to get into work

Our Focus

Road 2 Work engages with the long term unemployed, those that are hard to reach, those that are at risk of offending and anyone who needs careers advice and guidance to secure employment and training opportunities. Whether it is your first Job you are after, or if you have a criminal record or a drugs problem, we won’t judge you, we will provide you a tailor made action plan and support you all the way until you are satisfied with the progress you make.


If you are currently unemployed and are finding it difficult to secure work, if you would like some information, advice & guidance on an effective job search strategy, broadening your skills set or gaining a qualification then we can help you. We will actively listen to your situation, help you identify your goals and support you to take the necessary steps to success.


Our service is free, confidential & impartial and we have fully qualified advisors waiting to support you to kick start your career.


Whatever work it is that you wish to pursue, we will provide you with all the pathways you could possibly take and transform that dream job opportunity into a reality. We will teach you exactly what steps you will need to take and assist you throughout the journey.


Don’t worry if you are not sure what your ideal career aspirations are though, we have specialist workers that are fully qualified careers advisers who will be happy to unlock your potential and help you to identify a profession best suited just for you.


Come and see our advisers for a full list of job profiles and question us on what doing the jobs involve. Questions such as “how much do they earn”, days of work, hours of work; questions regarding any training you may need to do are just some of the typical questions among many that we answer regularly. We have up to date accurate information relating to any job you may be interested in. If you find anything you really like, just let us know and we will assist you along your road to work.

Careers Advice Service

  • Road 2 Work offers free independent and impartial information, advice & guidance to its service users who are in need of careers advice.
  • Our staff are fully qualified NVQ 4 Advice & Guidance practitioners who will be able to assist you to work towards securing employment in the career of your choice.
  • An appointment convenient for you would be arranged.
  • During your appointment you will be asked to complete a registration form in order to be eligible for our services.
  • Your appointment will take place in a 1-2-1 private and confidential consultation room and will last up to 45 minutes.
  • During your appointment we will listen to your support needs and identify areas of development.
  • We will provide you with an action plan on how we can work together to help you to achieve your goals; be it through providing you training, work experience or employment.
  • If we are unable to provide you with any support we will ensure that we make a referral to an appropriate agency for further support.

Employability Programme

Road 2 work offers a 1 week intensive accredited programme for 16 – 25 year-olds who are unemployed. This programme is for people who are wishing to develop effective job search techniques in order to gain valuable skills through work experience.


R2W offers learners a chance to identify their strengths and weaknesses; overcome their weaknesses and build on their strengths.


The programme enables learners to realise their long term and short term goals by setting assignments for them to achieve these goals.


The course covers the following topic in a fun and interactive way with a mixture of lectures, group work, presentations and role plays.


Toward the end of the programme, the learner will have sufficient skills and knowledge to arrange an interview for themselves for paid/voluntary work and if successful at the interview; take the opportunity to practice their newly found skills.


We guarantee you that if you have been unemployed in the long-term then this programme will provide you with the motivation and confidence for you to get out there and get employed.


The course is free and information on start and end dates/times can be obtained by contacting one of our advisers.

Work Experience Programme

The Work Experience Programme is designed for those who are unemployed and have little or no previous work experience.


It could be that you are not able to apply for many jobs because you do not meet the person specification criteria. It could be that you want to change your career but you don’t possess the necessary skills or experience to be eligible for that area of work. It may be that you simply wish to explore the different career choices available to you.


Whatever the reason, work placements are a good way to enhance your employability.


The programme helps clients access placement opportunities in sectors they are interested in that enable them to:

We will help you to identify work placement opportunities best suited to your needs and ensure any work placements you take up teaches you enough skills and provides you with the experience that you would like to acquire.


Too often, organisations have taken advantage of volunteers on work placements by not providing them with a sufficient variety of different working experiences.


This programme engages directly with supervisors to ensure you are given the best possible service with the required learning outcomes of your choice. Road 2 Work will provide you and your work supervisor with a work experience learning plan as guidelines for setting your role and responsibility at work. Through regular contact with these supervisors, we will also ensure that you receive the right level of support and supervision.


The length of work placement opportunities can vary and depends on your availability and what organisations have to offer.

Training Service

Road 2 Work will be provides accredited training programmes free of charge to London Borough of Tower Hamlets residents aged 14 – 25.


All our training programmes have been designed to provide the essential knowledge and skills required in a work setting.


All our courses take place in the evening between the times of 5pm and 9pm and the majority of our courses are 1 day courses with the exception of a few courses that last for 8 weeks on a part-time evening-attendance basis.


There are 12 places available for each of our courses. If you are interested in any of our courses then please get in touch with us and we will be happy to reserve you a place.

Job Club Support Group

Would you like to improve your chances of getting job interviews?
Are you finding it difficult to search for suitable vacancies?
Do you need access to the Internet and an atmosphere that will give you the motivation to complete job applications?
If your answer is yes then our Job Club is just for you!


The Road 2 Work Job Club has been set up in partnership with Job Centre Plus to support job seekers to improve their chances of securing employment.


We understand that often it is too easy to become comfortable and settle for welfare benefits or rely on credit cards, loans or the financial support from others because the labour market can seem too tough. The Job Club aims to make job search a routine in your daily life again by linking you up with other people in the same situation as you who can relate to your needs, encourage and support you.

The Job Club consists of a group of people with one common goal – to shorten their spell of unemployment. Joining our Job Club allows members to discuss and identify:

  • Job search best practices
  • Solutions to barriers they encounter
  • Ways to bounce back from job rejection
  • Success stories
  • Positive ‘can do’ attitude




  • Members have access to use our IT lab to surf the Internet to search and apply for job applications free of charge.
  • Members also receive support from our employment adviser who will give tips, and support to make effective job applications.
  • Members are part of a support network that routinely meet up to make job applications.
  • Members are left with a positive attitude toward job searches after each session by expressing their thoughts and receiving feedback from others.


To be eligible for our Job Club, you will need to register with the Road 2 Work project. We will then allocate you a Job Club support group that fits in with your schedule.

Contact a Road 2 Work adviser for information.

Open Minds Young Enterprise Programme

Open Minds is an entrepreneurial competition for young people aged 16 – 19, allowing them to set up a profit making business. It is a project which allows young people to use all their skills and abilities to bring forth a business idea which can potentially be funded by us to be brought to life. The project helps build young people holistically and gives them the opportunity to rise up to the exciting challenge of making money.


This 8 week programme will teach young people the key fundamentals of enterprise and encourage participants to come up with innovative business ideas.


As Open Minds is a group competition, we encourage groups of 4-5 young people to apply together as part of a team. Every team on the programme is allocated with a business mentor who will offer expert advice and support on any proposed business ideas.

Teams are required to plan their project and present a proposal in front of a panel and if the proposal is good, the panel will fund the start-up of the project. The team with the best business proposition will then get an opportunity to trade using the internet/market stall.


This is an accredited practical training programme and all participants that pass the elimination stage are awarded with a nationally recognised certificate upon completing the programme.


The aim of the programme is to test young people’s potential and capabilities and to provide a service that is out of the ordinary to identify the most skilled group. The project supports young people in learning about the elements required to run a successful business; from creating plans to implementing them.


The programme focuses on young people’s personal development and economic well-being. It helps to build confidence levels, improve team work and develop strategic decision making. These are just some of the areas that will be of focus. Through this programme, young people can achieve endless outcomes including acquiring their own mini business.


Open Minds is a very popular programme amongst young people and if you would like to register or find out more about Open Minds please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Road 2 Work project.

Work With Us

Volunteering Opportunities


If you would like to give back to the community and feel you have the right skills to help us then we would like to hear from. Road 2 Work is always looking for volunteers to support us in the following departments:


  • Employer Engagement
  • Advice
  • Administration
  • Outreach
  • Mentoring

Employment Opportunities


Currently, there are no Employment opportunities at Road 2 Work. Contact a member of our team to find out about similar opportunities that may be available elsewhere.

Partnership Work


Road to work is always looking for opportunities for partnership work with organisations and agencies that would like to work together with us or join our network.


If your organisation offers a service you feel could work well in partnership with Road 2 Work, we would be keen to hear from you.


We currently work in partnership with educational establishments, training providers, employers and community centres to deliver our services.


Contact us now to arrange a meeting to discuss proposals for partnership work.