Neath Family Employment

Neath family all find jobs with help from employment project


Three people from the same family have found permanent jobs in quick succession thanks to the help of the South West Workways project.

Partners Karen Thomas and Tony Darvell and Karen’s son Jacob, all of whom hail from Neath, have found work with a variety of local companies.

Workways, which is backed with £12.6 million from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, provided the trio with a range of support including job search assistance, help with CVs and applications, and access to training and temporary jobs.

Tony, forty five years of age, had been unemployed for ten years caring for his mother who passed away last year. He had no recent work experience and no qualifications. With the support of Workways, Tony found work as an operative with Derwen Group, a Neath Abbey based licensed waste transfer station and manufacturer of recycled aggregates.

Tony said “We’ve got a six year old daughter so having a job has made a big difference. I’ve got money in my pocket to buy her the things she needs for school and also spoil her a bit too.”

Having seen the help that her partner Tony was getting from Workways, Karen signed herself up for the project too. She had been made redundant from her job in a coffee shop and had been applying for a number of vacancies without success.

Workways helped rebuild Karen’s confidence and found her a job at Nu Cofi, a Neath based coffee shop. The part time hours were ideal as they allowed the couple to both work without any childcare issues.

Karen said “My Workways mentor Deb was fantastic. She was always there to talk to. Nu Coffee has been really supportive as well.”

Karen’s son Jacob was the last member of the family to sign up for Workways. Since leaving school in 2011, he had undertaken various one month traineeships but had been unable to secure a permanent job.

Workways supported Jacob to attend a course with SkillWales where he gained experience in a variety of trades, qualified for a site safety card and received a welcome boost in confidence. At the end of the course, he was delighted to be offered a job as a labourer with BDT construction. Only one month after signing up for Workways, Jacob had secured permanent employment.

Jacob said “I was landed to get a job so quickly. I’m happy to be working with BDT.”

Councillor Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council said “It’s excellent to hear news of 3 members of the same family who have all found jobs with the help of Workways. It’s a fine example of the variety of support the project can offer.”