Thursday, 27 August 2009

COASTAL project given overwhelming support

A multi million pound investment to develop a range of training and employment schemes for adults with high-level needs has been welcomed by the people of Carmarthenshire.

Members of the Carmarthenshire Citizens’ Panel have given the Creating Opportunities and Skills Team Alliance (COASTAL) project overwhelming support.

The £52million project will establish a range of vocational guidance and support, education and skill-based training to help people who are currently unable to work as a result of illness, disability or other work limiting conditions.
It is a major collaborative project being led by the City and County of Swansea, in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and Pembrokeshire County Council. The project is set to further expand into the areas of Ceredigion County Council and Bridgend County Borough Council early in 2010.

Carmarthenshire has secured £5.6million from the project fund to address economic activity in the county.
Plans have been developed to support adults with high-level needs arising from mental health, substance misuse, learning disability, physical disability and chronic health.

Over 1,000 people will be supported over the next four years, to access lifelong learning, skills training and meaningful employment.

Over 90 per cent of respondents on the citizens’ panel thought that the project concentrated on the right priorities.
The vast majority of respondents agreed that the right priorities were being concentrated on. Of those who did not agree, the largest number believed that those who had lost their jobs due to the recession and were having difficulties finding new employment should also be focused on.

Over three quarters of respondents believed this area of work was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to them and their community. The largest number commended the programme, believing that such support was needed and that all groups deserved it. They also felt it would benefit the community at large.

When asked what other kinds of help and support they could offer to enable people to obtain and remain in work, the largest number suggested working with employers and businesses, giving guidance and incentives and therefore creating jobs. A number also felt a mentoring system should be put in place. In terms of other groups that would benefit from this support, young people and school leavers and those over 50 were highlighted in particular.

Carmarthenshire COASTAL project manager Sarah Charles said: “The response to COASTAL has been very encouraging, and the range of opinions and suggestions will help us shape the projects over its course.
“This kind of support is vital to the success of the project.”

The 4.5 year COASTAL project has been funded by £27million from the European Social Fund, as part of the EU’s 2007-2013 West Wales and the Valleys programme, being administered by the Welsh Assembly Government. The remaining £25million match funding is being provided by the six local authorities and its third sector and independent sector service providers.

In Carmarthenshire the project will be available to eligible people across the county, with particular emphasis on Communities First areas where there is the highest level of deprivation and associated low levels of employment.

Cllr Meryl Gravell, leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “This project will help individuals overcome their barriers, and will hopefully give them the skills and confidence to achieve their goals.

“It will not only help these individuals feel more engaged with society, but will also provide huge benefits to the local economy by having a skilled workforce with a range of abilities and backgrounds.”

A taste of what you will see in Carmarthenshire thanks to the COASTAL Project:

  • Career Pathway Development – The entry point for all participants which will provide support to those eligible to register on the programme, plan their career and have an assigned mentor to act as a co-ordinator for the life of the programme;
  • Next Step Team – Supporting young people, in particular care leavers aged 16-21 who are not in education, employment or training. It will deliver apprenticeships and employment opportunities within public sector organisations along with training, mentoring and support;
  • STEPS Projects – These will be further developed to deliver a variety of training opportunities, business development and social enterprise at different locations including Llanelli, Carmarthen and Cross Hands;
  • Coleshill: Work 4 Life Programme – Based in Llanelli, will provide a modern centre for training, information and business development and physical rehabilitation;
  • Supported Employment Projects – to deliver ‘on the job’ support to suit people with different skills and abilities, enabling them to get the most out of work;
  • Specialist Mental Health Project – This will deliver a range of work and training related support services for people with severe and enduring mental illnesses with the help of voluntary sector organisations;
  • Specialist Substance Misuse Regional Project – to develop a life skills and employment readiness training programme, part-funded by the Dyfed-Powys Drug Intervention Programme, focusing on people with a history of substance misuse and psycho-social deficits but who show motivation to enter employment or training.

1 comment:

  1. The success of drug intervention programs results from a combined effort of families, friends and a professional drug interventionist.

    ReplyDelete

 
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