Jobs fair offers hope to Croydon’s young unemployed
I held a Jobs Fair for Croydon North on Friday 28th June. Unemployment was the top issue during the by-election when I was elected to Parliament in November last year. The jobs fair was my contribution to help young people in Croydon North who are struggling to find work. Over 150 young unemployed residents attended the fair where they met a wide range of employers offering jobs, training and work experience. Croydon College, who hosted the event, ran a CV and job-interview workshop on-site.
While the jobs fair is a good way to provide immediate help, we need to work together as a community to tackle the long-term problem of unemployment that affects people of all ages. While the jobs fair was in full swing in the exhibition hall, I brought together representatives from a range of local organisations in the lecture theatre to talk about new ways to get people back to work. The policy session involved businesses, community groups, churches, mosques, Croydon University Hospital, Croydon Voluntary Action, Croydon Citizens and councillors. The discussion was led by researchers from London-based think tank the RSA. With unemployment in Croydon North is at near-record levels and youth unemployment far higher than in any surrounding area, it’s important our community comes together to bring down the barriers to employment for local people. The RSA will write up a full report with an action plan that will be made available on this website.
At the event, many employers reported that they had arranged interviews and I will be in touch with the young people to find out how many of them secure jobs as a result of this event. Many of Croydon’s biggest employers took part, including TfL, Premier Inn, Morrisons, Direct Line, AIG, Croydon University Hospital Trust, The Prince’s Trust, the British Army, UK Power Networks, Crystal Palace Football Club, and JTJ Construction. I’m grateful to each and every one of them.
I would like to thank Croydon College for hosting this event, and all the employers who took part to give young people from Croydon North the chance of a better future.