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Somali Task force

Mayor John Biggs set up the Somali Task Force early in 2017.

This working party was established to address some of the challenges facing Somali residents in Tower Hamlets, following evidence that found that residents of Somali origin were more likely to suffer from economic inequality due to factors such as language barriers.

As part of their work, the task force came up with recommendations to help build the community’s capacity, including creating new employment opportunities; improved targeted provision of English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL); supporting Somali based community organisations to access resources, advice and support and developing a dedicated community space for cultural and community activities.

To date the taskforce has: 

  • registered more than 150 individuals for employment information, advice and guidance;
  • hosted an employment and training fair with WorkPath, the council’s partnership employment programme;
  • supported more than 10 individuals into secure employment and enterprise training;
  • commissioned a history project, which has captured some of the experiences of Somali migration and settlement in the community through film, photography and digital mapping;
  • created opportunities for Somali residents to train as market traders;
  • increased participation in English for Speakers of Other Languages courses;
  • introduced Somali language support in the council’s housing service;
  • created links between community organisations and Somali residents and Increased participation in activities for older people and
  • delivered targeted social care information and advice to Somali residents.

For more information download the profile of the Somali population in Tower Hamlets.

Read the full Task Force's report and the release covering the story.