People, Places, Business

Minister sees Job Project

Minister sees how job project improves career prospects

Minister Workways

Finance Minister Jane Hutt has visited a Neath Port Talbot-based project that has helped more than 3,600 people find work thanks to £12.6m in EU funding.

South West Workways, which is led by Neath Port Talbot Council in partnership with Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Swansea Councils, supports people to overcome the barriers which prevent them from finding work.

The Minister met three individuals who have secured permanent positions through the project after undertaking a temporary job opportunity at environmental waste management specialists, Derwen Group, in Neath Abbey.

Speaking during her visit, Jane Hutt said:

"I'm pleased to be in Neath today to see for myself how funding from Europe is helping people like Tony back into work and improving their career prospects.

"As a Government we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to tackle the root causes of poverty. Creating jobs is absolutely vital if we are to tackle long-term unemployment and improve the social and economic well-being of the people of Wales.

"Membership of the EU is vital for Wales. European projects are delivering real results across Wales. They have already assisted over 148,000 individuals to gain qualifications and 51,000 into work. They have also created over 20,000 (gross) jobs and nearly 6,000 enterprises."

One of the individuals who gained a job through the project is Tony Darvell of Neath. Tony had been unemployed for ten years after caring for his mother, who passed away last year. He had no recent work experience or qualifications. Workways helped Tony search for job vacancies and complete courses in first aid, confidence building and construction, before securing him a temporary job with Derwen Group which led to permanent employment.

Tony said:

"Workways made a big difference. They helped me to learn new skills and to find this job. It's a relief to no longer have to worry about paying the household bills. I can now afford to take my family on days out and we're in the process of decorating our flat."

The Minister was joined on the visit by Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council & Cabinet Member for Education & Lifelong Learning, Peter Rees.

Councillor Rees said:

"The success of Workways is down to the tailored one-to-one support the project offers alongside the close relationships it has forged with local employers."

Workways provides support with job searching, CVs, application forms, interview skills, telephone techniques and access to training. Participants are also matched with local businesses, helping them gain the vital experience needed to find sustainable employment.