£30m investment in Communities4Work programme welcomed

A new work programme has been announced this week, that will target long term unemployed people over the age of 25, to help them back into work.

The £30 million Communities4Work programme is jointly funded by Welsh Government’s Communities First programme and European Structural Funds, and will receive further support from Job Centre Plus.

Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister Lesley Griffiths AM will launch the scheme in Newport today, announcing support for over 35,000 people over the next three years, in the 52 Communities First clusters.

Communities4Work will offer one-to-one specialist advice and mentoring to increase the employability of economically inactive and long term unemployed people aged 25 and over, who have complex barriers to employment.

Welcoming the announcement, NIACE Cymru Director Cerys Furlong said:

“This is a small but significant announcement today, and a step change from Welsh Government who have previously focused the vast majority of their resources on tackling youth unemployment.

There are four times as many people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in Wales over the age of 50, as there are under the age of 25. This scheme will help to recognise and overcome the barriers many adults face in returning to work, and Welsh Government should ensure that they focus their resources equitably across all age groups when working to tackling unemployment and low skills.”