The Active Inclusion Fund supports a number of alternative upskilling projects from supported employment opportunities to using the outdoors as a pathway to further opportunities.
41 organisations across Wales are benefiting from the most
recent round of the Active Inclusion Fund. An
impressive £5.1 million will go towards a range of projects that
work with people furthest from the labour market to support them
into further learning, volunteering opportunities or employment.
The fund is supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) and run by
WCVA on behalf of the Welsh European Funding Office.
The newly funded projects will work closely with individuals to
provide tailored support and activities in order to build
confidence, increase skills and prepare them for the next steps in
their journey to employment. The advantage of the funding is that
the grant recipients design their own project and determine what
support and activities would best suit their participants. The Outdoor
Partnership in North Wales has received £51,167 for its
'Walking Higher' project, which will use the Snowdonia National
Park as a vehicle to employment.
The project will work with individuals aged 25+ who are unemployed
or economically inactive and live in the counties of Gwynedd, Conwy
and Anglesey. Instead of a 'standard' upskilling programme, it will
centre its engagement activities on walking and climbing in the
outdoors to help participants develop essential transferrable work
skills such as working as part of a group, health and safety, time
management and wellbeing. The aim is to motivate them into
employment whilst leading more active lifestyles, improving their
personal confidence, fitness, health and well-being.
Tracey Evans, Chief Executive of The Outdoor Partnership
said: "The Outdoor Partnership is very grateful for
the funding and opportunity to deliver a mountaineering programme
to those who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend outdoor
activities due to social barriers. Thank you WCVA for the fantastic
Tessa White, WCVA's Head of Grants, said: "We
recently improved the application process and terms of funding and
the response to these changes has been very encouraging. The funds
will be running to the end of 2019, so there is still time to apply
and make a difference to your community."
The scope of the Active Inclusion Fund is wide and organisations
can use the funding to deliver paid supported employment placements
as well as engagement activities. Merthyr Tydfil Citizens
Advice Bureau's 'You're Hired' project will receive £33,192 to
support people aged over 25 back into work through supported
employment placements. The participants will carry out their
placements in the advice and admin departments and will be
supported by the centre's trained staff. They'll gain experience of
working with the public, administration, IT, communication and of
working in a third sector and modern business environment. They'll
achieve a level 2 qualification and a work relevant certificate in
Interview Skills, which will support them into employment. As well
as gaining experience and qualifications, the project will support
them to apply for jobs, prepare CVs and even offer role-play
Lisa Howell-Morgan, Chief Executive of Merthyr Tydfil
Citizens Advice Bureau said about the project: "
'You're Hired!' will offer opportunities to individuals in Merthyr
Tydfil that are furthest away from the labour Market, giving them
the skills and confidence to support them back into employment.
It's great that WCVA has awarded Citizens Advice Merthyr Tydfil
with this funding to remove the barriers that many in our community