Partnership working is helping residents secure jobs
NEATH Port Talbot Council's commitment to working with its
partners has resulted in increased employment opportunities in the
Despite being faced with economic challenges, the Council's
Enterprise, Business and Employment Support Services has been
working with its partners to help and support unemployed residents
secure training, apprenticeships and to-date has helped 1467
residents find jobs.
The European Social Fund West Wales Workways project has
achieved notable success by helping 1403 residents find jobs since
Neath Port Talbot Council leader Ali Thomas said the Workways
project has taken an innovative approach to engage local
communities and form strong relationships with employers for the
benefit of residents.
He said: "This is essential for any employment initiative. As a
result of this approach, more than 30 unemployed people from Neath
Port Talbot have secured employment with Tesco at both their local
and regional stores."
The Workways team have developed the Employer Support Group,
which brings together local organisations and agencies to share
information and handle recruitment request more efficiently for the
benefit of both potential employers and job seekers.
The Council is also working with public sector contractors to
encourage them to use local businesses and workers on Authority-led
"An excellent example of the effectiveness of these Community
Benefit clauses is the Harbourway project," said councillor Thomas.
"In total, 35 local people have received direct employment from
Costain and local contractors have benefited from £3m of
Local communities have also benefited from the awarding of the
contracts for Glan-y-Mor School, Croeserw Community Enterprise
Centre, Pen-y-Cymoedd Wind Farm and the University Second
Collaboration with NPT Homes has resulted in 17 local people
finding work in addition to the recruitment of seven apprentices by
the Mears Group in the summer.
The Council is also keen to support young entrepreneurs. The
Sandfields Young Business Centre (TSYBC) was established to support
young people in business by providing an environment for businesses
Support packages which include affordable rent, high quality
office and workshop space as well as on-site advice and support
facilities are available at the centre.
Councillor Thomas said: "There are a number of businesses from
the creative sector who are based at the Centre who have achieved
notable success. Productive links have been made between these
companies with Tonto Films who are currently transforming the
former Visteon Factory on Fabian Way."
The Centre is running the Innov8 project which provides business
planning, guidance on start up, ongoing mentoring and access to
specialist support for people under the age of 31 who either have a
business idea or are in need of advice on running an existing
business. To date, more than 100 advice sessions have been
delivered and 44 businesses have received start up grants of up to
In addition to the Innov8 grants, the Council has providing
invaluable financial support equating to more than £620,000.
Councillor Thomas said: "The grant and loan scheme has supported
113 business expansion projects, helped 20 business start ups as
well as creating more than 170 new posts and safeguarding more than
"The Council is continuing to provide small scale financial
support to local businesses to help boost the local economy.
Despite being faced with some challenging economic times, we will
continue to work in partnership with a number of agencies to ensure
that our residents have access to a number of employment