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Finding work

Support for residents facing barriers to employment

As part of our new series about local people facing barriers to employment and how we can support them, we spoke with a Southall mum who has just got a job at a high school.

Mahvish Farhat, 44, had previously lived in the United Arab Emirates, where she worked as a HR coordinator. In 2012, she moved back to the UK and continued her career, up until 2019, when she had her twin daughters.

With the help of Ealing Council, she has recently returned to work.

“I’m in a role I love now and I’m grateful for the support,” Mahvish told us. “I didn’t know how it was going to work with two small kids and a job, but I am very happy here.”

Balancing kids with work

Although Mahvish was keen to return to work, during her maternity leave she realised that her twins’ schedule and her limited support network meant it would be difficult to return to her former career.

Mahvish contacted the council’s welfare assistance team, which provided financial support and referred her to the council’s work clubs service.

The service helped her with her CV and finding suitable roles. Mahvish was keen to pursue a career in education, because of schools’ more flexible working hours. After only a few weeks, Mahvish was hired by a local high school.

She said: “I’m really lucky to have wonderful employers. I applied for a full-time role but was conscious that I may need to reduce my hours eventually for the kids. The school was really good about it and I’m now working part-time, which works so well with our schedule.” 

Mahvish is seeing more benefits to her new job than she initially envisaged. “Working in a school office has worked out really well for me,” she added. “The work is less stressful than what I was doing in HR, which is exactly what I need being a single mum. It’s been a great learning experience.” 

Help for people like Mahvish

If you need help accessing employment, the council’s work clubs can help. From support with writing CVs to interview preparation, the clubs offer a range of services.

Councillor Kam Nagpal, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “It’s been great to see how we’re making a real difference to residents like Mahvish, by helping them access good, well-paid, local jobs that suit their circumstances.

“We want to make sure that those jobs are available for residents in all our 7 towns so that everyone can benefit from the economic growth and prosperity that we are looking to create. We’ve already made great progress over the last 2 years, creating almost 5,000 good and well-paid jobs and we’re setting ourselves up to hit 10,000 by 2026.”

Support in finding employment can be found on the council’s website. Information and guidance on apprenticeships is also available on our Work Ealing site.

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