People of Public Service is our insight series where we highlight leaders, frontline staff and everyone in between that's meeting the changing needs of communities in innovative ways.
We spoke to Julia Marcus, Job Hub Lead at Camden Council about her experience of working with local communities, helping people find good, sustainable work and her passion for inclusivity in recruitment.
From my experience working closely with people I’ve supported over the years, I’ve come to find my own definition of community. To me, it means support, friendship and respect. When you're introducing yourself to a new community, you have to be that person who’ll listen and hear what people are telling you. You have to be incredibly respectful of people's different attitudes, opinions, cultures and work with that. It's not just about my relationship with individual people, but understanding communities by how they listen, respect and support each other.
Finding my calling
My first role was way back in the ’90s when I was working for an organisation called the North Kensington Opportunities Centre, I was the Media Careers Advisor. It was a time when there was a lot of regeneration funding, with little pots of money being given to urban communities. A lot of media companies were moving out of Soho and setting up premises in Portobello Road and Ladbroke Grove, and my role was linking new opportunities that stemmed from this to residents who lived on the big estates in the area.
I loved working with young people who hadn’t benefitted from the usual trajectory in that sector, they had passion and feistiness, and I could definitely work with those qualities. During this time I was very conscious of disparity. There was a lack of opportunity for young working-class people because the industry was very nepotistic. I felt strongly that the media sector wasn't very representative or diverse and I'd always had that at the back of my mind. So it was nice to feel that I was doing something which was affecting that on some level. I’ve gone on to work on similar projects and roles where I developed employment support for local people.