One year after its launch, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates has said Working Wales will be a vital tool in helping Wales recover from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Since May 2019, Working Wales, which is delivered through Careers Wales, has directly assisted more than 31,500 adults and over 6,000 young people who are looking for employability support.
Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister, Ken Skates said:
Working Wales has already helped thousands of people and that support will be more important than ever as we deal with the economic impact of coronavirus.
We know demand for this vital service is going to rise dramatically in the short term as unemployment levels are likely to rise quite significantly over the coming months.
Ensuring individuals have the appropriate advice and guidance to help develop their skills and find a job is going to be crucial in getting our economy up and running again.
Working Wales, which is funded by Welsh Government and the European Social Fund, offers a simpler approach to employability support by providing people with a single point of contact through which they can access personalised, expert advice and training required to find and maintain good, long-term employment.
Support available includes an assessment of a person’s barriers to employment, advice, guidance and signposting, job searches, CV writing as well as interview preparation and finding work placements.
During this difficult period, Working Wales advisers continue to play a vital virtual role in evaluating and understanding an individual’s needs including through their web chat facilities and telephone service.
The programme is also providing important resources for furloughed workers such as free online courses where individuals can develop their skills.
The Minister added:
I want to thank each and every person delivering this important service for everything that they do to improve people’s outlook and indeed their lives.
As a government, we are absolutely determined to see Welsh businesses thrive once again, support people to gain important employment opportunities and help our economy prosper to pre-pandemic levels.
Working Wales has a crucial role to play going forward and I encourage anyone who has been made redundant or looking for support and advice to get in touch with the team.
One person to benefit from the service is Christopher, who had been in the army for 14 years, but was not sure on his next career path.
Thanks to support from Working Wales, he has now managed to secure new employment and is studying towards a degree.
I’d been serving in the army for around 14 years but when I left, I felt at a loss about what to do next. The forces had been my life.
The careers adviser was great in supporting me through the application process to secure funding and training. We worked together on an action plan and I’d researched jobs that I could apply for after training.
If it wasn’t for Working Wales, I don't think I would be in the position I am in now. The sense of achievement I have experienced is amazing and has encouraged me to study for a degree.
Careers Wales chief executive, Nikki Lawrence said:
The first year of Working Wales has been a huge success, with our expert advisers providing support to more than 37,000 people across Wales in the first 12 months.
As we look ahead in these challenging times, I would like to assure people that our careers advisers are available over the phone, via our web chat facility and through social media channels, so we can continue to provide our customers with the support and guidance they need to meet their employment needs.