November 23, 2011
Flying a jet is probably easier than trying to take pictures of Anthony Angol. It seems like everyone at London City Airport (LCA) knows its 27-year-old community relations executive – and they all want to stop and say hello. The charismatic former Cumberland School student is flying high thanks to an employment scheme that supports Newham residents who want their career to take off.
In just over a year, the former terminal services agent has been promoted to his new role which, among other things, involves him supporting other local people to find work at London City Airport (LCA). Since 2009, the Take Off Into Work (TOIW) programme has seen almost 200 residents secure employment in and around inner London’s only airport. TOIW is a bespoke training course that meets the needs of employers and, in most cases, leads to employment. The scheme is delivered in partnership with Workplace, Newham Council’s job brokerage scheme, and East London Business Alliance (ELBA).
Did you want always want to work in
Living on the doorstep of the airport, I’ve seen it develop over the years. I’ve been interested in tourism since I was in secondary school so the opportunity to work here seemed too good to be true. I didn’t realise it, but there are lots of jobs at the airport and projects like TOIW make these jobs available to local people.
What interested you about your
When I was young, coming from a modest background, I wasn’t able to travel to many places. It was only once I went to college, and then university, that I had the opportunity to fly to different countries and see different ways of life. It really encouraged me to pursue my pathway into tourism as I knew that would enable me to see a lot more of the world.
How did you get your job?
I lived in Canning Town and I visited The Place (a branch of Workplace) to see if I could find work. I met someone from ELBA who told me about the scheme and how to apply. It all took off from there! Before I got the job at LCA I worked in retail. I had experience in customer facing roles, so I had the skills needed for a terminal service agent.
What do you like most about your job?
I like the variety. There are different projects that we’re all responsible for so every day is interesting. It’s the fi rst time I’ve worked in an office. I haven’t had much admin experience but I have a great manager and if I’m not sure about something I’ll ask and keep it in mind for next time: I’m always learning.
What candidates is TOIW looking for?
We’re looking for people who are enthusiastic. You need to be hard-working, want to make a change and improve yourself as a person. A lot of people in Newham don’t take up or don’t know about opportunities on their doorstep that are open to them. Anyone from the area that’s unemployed and wants to change their life should consider applying for TOIW.
What advice would you give someone
looking for work?
There are organisations out there, like ELBA and Workplace, which can help you. Be proactive, look around and identify these places. A lot of people in the position I was in may think those organisations won’t be able to help them, but they can. They are very helpful. What happened to me, happened by chance but the opportunities are there for anyone who wants them enough.