Secretary of state for work and pensions visits Hornchurch nursery

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 November 2018

From left to right: Jill Carrington, Salma Khodabaksh, Alicia Ashton, Rt Hon Esther McVey MP, Nicki Thomson, 
Kevin Jennings and Clare Butler. Photo: Barclays

From left to right: Jill Carrington, Salma Khodabaksh, Alicia Ashton, Rt Hon Esther McVey MP, Nicki Thomson, Kevin Jennings and Clare Butler. Photo: Barclays


The secretary of state for work and pensions Esther McVey MP visited a Hornchurch nursery to talk with staff as part of a project ran by Barclays.

Alicia Ashton from Fledgelings Day Nursery (left) chatting with Rt Hon Esther McVey MP (right). Photo: BarclaysAlicia Ashton from Fledgelings Day Nursery (left) chatting with Rt Hon Esther McVey MP (right). Photo: Barclays

Esther McVey MP met with senior Barclays employees and charity partner, Catch22, to discuss the impact of Barclays’ Connect with Work programme at Fledgelings Day Nursery in Suttons Lane.

Catch22 is a not for profit business with a social mission, working at every stage of the social welfare cycle. It delivers services that build resilience and aspiration in 60,000 people and 128 communities.

She also met employees of the nursery including Alicia Ashton, who was placed with Fledgelings Day Nursery earlier this year, through the Connect with Work programme.

After a stint working in administration, Alicia decided she wanted to transition to a different industry and Barclays with Catch22 gave her the career advice she needed to be able to make the move.

Connect with Work is a Barclays Citizenship programme that builds bridges between people who face barriers to getting into work and businesses that are hiring, including Barclays clients and suppliers.

Esther McVey MP said: “Since 2010 we’ve seen an average of 1000 more people enter work every day. This jobs boom is being driven by small businesses across the country, like Fledgelings Day Nursery taking on apprentices here in Hornchurch.

“Getting into a good career gives people security and the chance of a better future. Barclays’ Connect with Work programme, working with our jobs centres and hundreds of local employers like Fledgelings, is doing just that – helping companies grow and provide even more opportunities for work.”

Nicki Thomson, head of public sector: education, social housing and local authorities, Barclays, said: “Barclays’ Connect with Work programme offers real skills training with actual jobs at the end of it. We are extremely proud to have helped thousands of people into work globally, partnering with more than 100 businesses across the UK to help bridge the employment gap.”

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