The workplace of the future is about so much more than work: our partnerships support our ambition to make Republic a place for encounters, where people are able to come together to experience and learn in new ways, then carry this creative energy into their work. One of the most exciting opportunities for Republic is to attract, harness and, if needed, upskill the diverse talent of Tower Hamlets.
Republic offers support to third sector organisations that support skills, education and training in East London. While Republic is home to three higher education schools, we understand that education means more than just degrees: a successful future economy will require us to train people at all stages of their lives, no matter what their past access to education has been.
Oitij-jo Collective is a not-for-profit community organisation that looks to create opportunities for entrepreneurship, business development through creative projects, training, mentoring and networks, especially in London and Bangladesh. Oitij-Jo has set up the TATI Craft Hub, a traditional Bangla textiles and creative craft workshop in a retail unit at Republic.
Oitij-jo’s history at Republic goes back to 2018, when it secured a desk through the Creative Pioneers programme in 2018 run by The Trampery Republic. The 1,200 sq ft unit follows a series of pop-up events and residencies hosted on campus, such as the food workshop reported on by Londonist in 2019.
“I visited Republic in 2018, when Oitij-jo Collective was selected through The Trampery’s ‘Creative Pioneer’ programme and we got a desk space for six months,” says Maher Anjum, Project lead for Oitij-jo Collective. “Could not believe our luck as the space in Import Building was amazing and we received a lot of support to launch our crowdfunding bid to initiate the TATI food project. The support from Republic continued in 2019 when TATI held its first public food testing event in Import building.
“In late 2019, Trilogy approached us later in the year to see if we would be interested in one of the units. Discussions were stalled due to COVID in 2020 but we approached Trilogy in summer to hold our TATI Textile workshops. The space was just right for us and everyone who attended loved being there and we had full attendance for the course. Having this space, which we can call our home, but also hold all the craft and creative activities from is something we never thought would happen and is now a reality.”
Open City aims to make the built environment more accessible and inclusive. The charity is best known for organising the hugely popular London Open House Weekend, which reaches 250,000 participants annually. It also carries out a year-round series of programmes that make the experience of the city more engaging and accessible. Through its learning programmes, Open City champions architecture within education to create wider participation and diversity in the built environment professions. Republic provides Open City with 900 sq ft of office space with panoramic views of London on the ninth floor of the Import Building.
City Gateway is a charity that works with young people, women and families to give them the skills, experience and qualifications they need to achieve their ambitions. City Gateway runs a successful programme of work placements for young people, in partnership with top employers in the city.
During the lockdowns of the covid pandemic, Republic donated office space that was used to secure the continuity of this programme. By offering access to a professional environment to trainees when they were unable to access suitable working from home facilities, City Gateway was able to prevent these young people from falling out of training.
“The pandemic has hugely impacted the career prospects of young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds” comments Adam Sage, Business Development Manager at City Gateway. “The additional workspace at Republic has been instrumental in providing remote work placements for young people currently facing difficulties securing sustained employment.
“Many young people also lack the technology and suitable conditions for remote working, which is why the work placements we provide aim to reduce the ‘digital divide’ and ensure all young people get the same access into the job market, regardless of their background. We have already seen great results, with a number of our trainees already progressing into full-time jobs and apprenticeships! We would like to thank Trilogy for their help making this happen.”
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