New £30m programme to help 35,000 long-term unemployed adults into work launched in Wales

3rd June 2015

An ambitious £30 million programme to help long-term unemployed adults into work, has today been announced by the Welsh Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths.

This investment, backed by £18 million of EU funds and supported by Jobcentre Plus, is for the first phase of the Communities for Work programme, which aims to support over 35,000 people over the next three years and help more than 6,000 people into work.

The one-to-one advisory service will be delivered by over 200 specialist advisers and mentors who will help people who may be anxious about entering the labour market or struggling to get a job because of a lack of qualifications, childcare responsibilities or health problems.

Communities for Work will focus on Wales’ most deprived areas, making use of the strong relationships Communities First staff have established and built-up during many years of working in the heart of the community.

The Communities for Work mentors will work together with over 100 Jobcentre Plus specialist employment advisers, to match people’s interests and skills to the local labour markets’ needs to maximise their chances of successfully securing a job.

Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“A central aim of this Government is helping people into work and strengthening our economy.

“I am confident this ambitious £30 million programme will have a life-changing impact on thousands of people here in Wales who have been out of work for months, or even years. The intensive one-to-one support from experienced mentors based in the heart of our communities will give people the confidence and guidance they need to undertake training in order to secure a job and, therefore, their future.

“Our community-based advisers are also best placed to understand the local labour market and match people’s skills to the area’s demand. This programme is a huge step forward in the employment support we provide our poorest communities – I look forward to seeing the results of this highly ambitious project over the years to come.”

Minister for Finance and Government Business, Jane Hutt, said:
“This EU funds investment will help to raise aspirations and tackle poverty by supporting those in most need to find and sustain employment, and clearly shows how important UKmembership of the EU is to the prosperity and well-being of Wales.”

Martin Brown, Jobcentre Plus Work Services Director Wales said:
“Having Jobcentre Plus advisers working as part of Communities First teams will allow us to help people understand the opportunities that exist in the labour market, the requirements of employers and to support people to access appropriate support and training to improve their prospects of securing a job. This is a great example of DWP and Welsh Government working together to achieve our shared ambition of increasing employment rates.”

Part two of the programme, which is expected to be rolled-out this summer, will focus on supporting 16 – 24 year olds who are not in education, employment or training. Ministers will make a further announcement about the second phase of the programme in the coming weeks.