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’.