Welcoming our new colleagues in Streatham

23 Oct 2013

Yesterday over 70 new colleagues graduated from our Regeneration Partnership Programme in Streatham. They had been out of work for at least six months and we are so pleased to welcome them to the team.

The event was hosted by Streatham MP Chuka Umunna, Councillor Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council, and Andrew Yaxley, Tesco’s Managing Director for London.  Also at the event was the Minister for Employment, Esther McVey MP, who took time out to meet the graduates and find out about the regeneration programme.

Stephen Sawyers, 45, had previously been unemployed for 5 years.   The single father of six had to give up work when his wife became ill.  “I had to be at home for the children after my wife was diagnosed with cancer.  But as they grew older I started to look for work.  It was really daunting and no-one was willing to give me a chance …. until now.  I’m so excited to be starting work - I really want to make my children proud.

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Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council, said:  “I am absolutely delighted that the Streatham Hub is delivering jobs for local people, and it was wonderful to meet some of the 72 long term unemployed people that have benefited. We have worked incredibly hard on this project, and as the leader of Lambeth Council I was determined that the Streatham Hub would deliver the greatest possible benefit to our residents. Today has been a perfect illustration of that point. We are delivering not only a world class leisure centre, new homes and revitalising the southern part of the borough – but we are also helping make a massive difference to people’s lives by getting them into work.”

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna congratulated the graduates on their return to work, and said: “The Streatham Hub is a fantastic development that will deliver for our community for years to come. It is brilliant that the new development is finally almost here and already delivering for local people. There are far too many people who have been out of work for far too long, just looking for a chance, and I am so pleased that this project is delivering jobs for local people."

Andrew Yaxley, Tesco Managing Director for London said: “I’m really proud that we’ve been able to help so many local people back to work through our Streatham Regeneration Partnership.  Since 1999, more than 6,000 Tesco colleagues have taken part in programmes like this, which shows how serious we are about helping to address long-term unemployment.  I want to congratulate our new colleagues, welcome them to the team and wish them luck in their new roles.

Also speaking at the event Esther McVey MP, Minister for Employment, said: "I am delighted to be part of this award ceremony celebrating 72 people, all of whom had previously experienced long periods of unemployment, making the positive move into work. I am pleased to see first-hand what can be achieved when Jobcentres and Local Authorities work in partnership with employers. I hope many more businesses will follow this example and we will continue to see an increase in partnership working"

The new Tesco store is part of a multi-million pound ‘Streatham Hub’ regeneration scheme in the town centre that also includes the new ice and leisure centre and 250 homes.  The store and leisure centre will open next month.