Minister sees how job project improves career prospects
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
"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
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.
"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
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