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Written Statement - Approval of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA’s) EU funded Active Inclusion Fund

Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance and Government Business

I am pleased to have announced today £11.5 million of EU funds to the WCVA's £16 million Active Inclusion project that will support long-term unemployed and economically inactive people into work. I announced this funding at today's major WCVA third sector event ‘Europe Matters to Wales’ to celebrate the EU’s contribution to economic and social regeneration in Wales.

Active Inclusion will support over 7,000 people aged over 25 years in North & West Wales and the Valleys over the next three years. It will be managed by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and will support organisations to provide skills programmes and transitional employment opportunities in local areas.

The project will help improve the employment prospects of people who are long-term unemployed, as well as people facing barriers to employment through disabilities, low skills, or substance misuse problems.  Over 2,000 six-month work placements will be created to support their transition into sustainable employment.

By 2018, Active Inclusion will lead to over 4,000 new work-based qualifications and help over 3,500 people into work and others into further education and training. I look forward to announcing funding for the East Wales arm of the project in the coming weeks.

Wales benefits from over £500 million of EU funds annually to support jobs and growth, which includes investments to help increase skills and employment opportunities for thousands of vulnerable people across Wales.  This EU investment of over £11 million for Active Inclusion will make an important contribution to the lives of people in most need and will help make Wales into a fairer, more prosperous and more inclusive society.