Employability team helps support over 200 people into work since April

The employability team at Bridgend County Borough Council has helped over 200 people into work since April, becoming one of the top performing teams in Wales for short-term unemployed support in the process.  The team oversee a number of projects in the county borough, helping both employed and unemployed residents who need support in either getting a job or getting a better job.  Over the last few months, they have supported 210 people into work, helping them overcome barriers which would have stopped them from progressing into employment.  Jobs include those in the care sector, cleaning and as delivery drivers.  The council’s cabinet member for wellbeing and future generations Councillor Dhanisha Patel said: “To have helped more than 200 people into work during these unprecedented times is phenomenal and is testament to the hard work of the team and the participants who have been willing to work in some of the most needed areas.  “It represents another example of council staff doing all they can to help support individuals, businesses, communities and the wider economy to find a way through in the current climate.”  From April to the end of October, a total of 691 people signed up with the employability team.  Support can include providing help filling out application forms or job searching, free training and qualifications such as the control of substances hazardous to health for cleaners or an HGV licence.  The training can also include increasing ‘soft’ skills such as confidence and interview techniques, or vocational qualifications.  In addition, the team may be able to provide financial support for work-related costs, such as transport to work until you are paid or clothing, for example work shoes.  The team is funded through the Welsh Government and European Social Fund.  For more details visit the council website or email employability@bridgend.gov.uk or call 01656 815317.

Volunteers wanted for Bridgend Local Action Group

New members are being sought to join the Bridgend Local Action Group (LAG), a decision-making body that supports rural development projects across the county borough.  The Bridgend Reach Rural Development team which runs the group – comprised of representatives from the local voluntary, private and public sectors – is looking for individuals who have an interest in the county borough and are able to make a contribution.  In particular the team would like to hear from people who can represent an organisation, group or company and have skills or experience in the following themes:

  • Adding value to local identity and natural and cultural resources
  • Facilitating pre-commercial development, business partnerships and short supply chains
  • Exploring new ways of providing non-statutory services
  • Renewable energy at community level
  • Exploitation of digital technology

The team would also like to hear from you if you have skills or experience of rural development, European funded projects, community development, sustainable development, equal opportunities, the Welsh language, or tackling poverty and social exclusion.  The Reach rural development programme has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.  The team has recently received an extension to run the programme until March 2023.  Local action group members are unpaid volunteers with LAG meetings being held four times a year – dates and times are circulated a year in advance. Members are also invited to join in with other relevant workshops, meetings and contribute via email correspondence.  For more details visit the Bridgend Reach website. Anyone interested in becoming a member can email reach@bridgend.gov.uk

Regional Covid-19 Business Survey results

As part of Bridgend County Borough Council’s ongoing support for businesses in the current Covid-19 pandemic, we recently undertook a survey asking whether businesses had all the information and support they needed to run their business safely.  With the survey having ended on October 19, we are now able to share the results.  The survey which took place across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg region was sent directly to businesses via different networks in the local authority and was also publicised on social media. In total there were 210 online completions.  Below are some of the main headlines from the survey results:

  • 86% said they had received all of the Covid-19 information/guidance they need to ensure the safety of their staff with 83% saying they had received all the Covid-19 information/guidance they need to ensure the safety of their customers/clients
  • 75% said they had received all information needed to effectively implement Test, Trace, Protect for their staff with 74% saying they had received all information needed to effectively implement Test, Trace, Protect for their customers/clients
  • 78% said they had not experienced any difficulties interpreting and implementing information relevant to their business for staff with 71% saying they have not experienced any difficulties interpreting and implementing information relevant to their business for customers/clients
  • 82% of respondents said they did not anticipate any future difficulties interpreting and implementing information relevant to their business for their staff with 86% saying they did not anticipate any future difficulties interpreting and implementing information relevant to their business for their customers/clients
  • The majority of businesses said they accessed Covid-19-related information to run their business for staff and customers/clients via the Welsh Government website, searching online and local authority websites and emails
  • Businesses said it would be helpful to have clearer and consistent guidelines and information which allowed time to prepare with some asking for regular updates via emails. They said it would be helpful to have financial support for lost business, staff costs and implementing measures

Bridgend County Borough Council leader Councillor Huw David said: “We would like to thank all those who took the time to participate in the survey – it’s encouraging that the majority of businesses who took part said they had the information and guidance they need to run their business safely at this very challenging time.  “A series of new grants were recently launched by Welsh Government to provide financial assistance for businesses that are facing operational and financial challenges caused by the lockdown restrictions.  “We urge businesses in the county borough who are unclear about their responsibilities or the financial support available to contact us.”  The survey took place between September 21 and October 19.  For more details on the support for businesses visit the Business Wales website or visit the Bridgend County Borough Council business support webpage.  To sign up to the Healthy Working Wales e-bulletin and receive the latest information on guidance and resources email WorkplaceHealth@wales.nhs.uk with ‘E-Bulletin Sign Up’ in the subject line of the email.

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