Thousands of local people helped to find work
UNEMPLOYED people across south west Wales have been given a huge boost thanks to a project that has helped over 1,900 back into the workplace despite the gloomy economic climate.
The South West Workways project, which is partly funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, supports unemployed and economically inactive people by helping them increase their employability skills and move into the jobs and employment market.
It was launched in 2009 and supports individuals to move into sustainable employment by helping them overcome barriers that are stopping them from working.
Workways is delivered across four local authority areas: Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
It is managed in Swansea by a team of staff from Swansea Council's regeneration and education inclusion departments.
Staff create tailor-made plans for project participants, identify their potential and offer a one-to-one mentoring service.
Workways has jobs that are exclusive to the project which are matched to an individual's skills.
Mentors have access to a range of vacancies and work experience opportunities including voluntary work, taster days and company visits.
Cllr Gareth Sullivan, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Planning, said: "These figures make for very encouraging reading at a time when economic conditions are difficult with so many people across the UK either being made redundant or finding it hard to secure employment.
"Everyone involved in the Workways project deserves enormous credit for their commitment in helping economically inactive people back into the workplace by boosting their confidence and offering the level of support and encourage that's needed."
Tracey Porter, of Mumbles, started with the Workways project in December 2010. The support that she received from the project meant that Tracey was offered a temporary job opportunity with TLC Marketing UK Ltd. She proved herself to be a hard worker and, as a result, was employed full-time with the company.
Tracey also completed a course at Swansea Council's Employment Training centre to get a qualification that is required by many employers looking for administration staff.
Tracey, age 43, said: "I'm thankful for the Workways project as I was really struggling at interviews. The more jobs I didn't get, the less confident I became. Being put into a company where I could demonstrate my skills and prove I could do the job was an invaluable help for me."
The Workways team can help if you're of working age, not working and not claiming benefits; receiving Income Support; receiving Employment Support Allowance and not on the Work Programme; receiving Incapacity Benefit; claiming Job Seekers Allowance and not on the Work Programme.
Call 01792 545050 or have a look at http://www.workways.co.uk for more information.
The project has been made possible by the EU's Convergence European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.
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