Cwmbran people benefit from employability skills surgery

People in Cwmbran recently benefited from an employability skills surgery, hosted by Working Wales.

Working Wales, an employability service that was launched by the Welsh Government in 2019 and delivered by Careers Wales, hosted a session to tackle employment barriers that may be stopping people from finding and securing meaningful employment.

Advisers from Working Wales worked in partnership with PaCE (Parents, Childcare & Employment), a Welsh Government programme backed by the European Social Fund that provides childcare support for parents who are training and gaining skills to secure a job, to host the session at Cwmbran Jobcentre Plus.

Customers from Cwmbran attended the session where they received free advice and guidance on how they can find and secure a job. The session included career guidance, planning and management and looked at the importance of self-awareness – what it is and how to improve self-awareness.

Working Wales was created to provide a simpler approach to accessing employability support to help individuals find and maintain long-term employment.

The service, also backed by the European Social Fund, is available to anyone in Wales who is over the age of 16 and not in full time education, regardless of location, accessibility or personal circumstance. Working Wales is accessed via Careers Wales centres, Jobcentre Plus and a wide range of community locations as well as over the phone, digitally or through the Working Wales website 

Michael O’Keefe, stakeholder engagement manager at Working Wales, said:

“Since Working Wales was launched last year, we have been developing links with key employment programmes, such as PaCE, to work more collaboratively and reach customers that need tailored employability advice and guidance.

“We find that it is often the case that many of our new customers aren’t aware of the childcare support that is available to them if they are thinking of returning to work. Or they are unaware that, through Working Wales, they can gain advice on confidence building, which can be a huge barrier to many mothers and fathers who may have been out of work looking after children for the last few years. That’s why we wanted to link up with PaCE to deliver this session. By working collaboratively, attendees received useful, tailored advice which will now help them plan their next step to enter, or re-enter, the workplace.

“This is one of the first sessions we have run and, given the success and feedback from the attendees, we will definitely be looking to host further sessions with similar programmes in the future.”

Sarah Frost, PaCE delivery manager in South East Wales, said:

“I see great examples of partnership working between PaCE and Working Wales. This employability skills surgery in Cwmbran has helped parents receive the best support from either PaCE or Working Wales depending upon their needs and our areas of expertise. PaCE look forward to working with Working Wales again to deliver similar events”’

Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said:

“The vision for our Employability Plan is to provide people in Wales with the support they need to help them secure a job and prepare them for any future labour market changes. Working Wales is helping us do just that. Careers guidance is essential to support, motivate and engage people to be optimistic about their future opportunities, and tailored sessions such as these skills surgeries allow advisers to help people in an environment which is convenient and comfortable for them. I hope that the attendees found the session beneficial.”

Working Wales has supported 23,326 adults and 5,135 young people and plans to increase this figure to 42,000 individuals and a further 8,000 via digital support by the end of March 2020.  The PaCE programme itself has supported 4,930 individuals since June 2015 with over 1,900 entering employment.

Support available through Working Wales includes referrals to job-specific training, job searches, CV writing, confidence building, interview preparation and finding work placements. Working Wales also signposts eligible individuals to programmes where they can access additional support to meet their needs; for example, childcare support and transport assistance, traditionally two of the primary barriers to employment.

For more information on Working Wales call 0800 028 4844, visit a Careers Wales centre or go online

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