Ken Skates AM, Minister for Economy and Transport
I am pleased to announce the extensions of the Communities for Work (CfW) and Parents Childcare and Employment (PaCE) programmes, both of which are supported by the European Social Fund. Delivery of both programmes will now continue until 30 June 2022. This decision will mean an additional £23,430,502 of EU funding for the CfW programme and £5,622,165 for PaCE, bringing the total investment in the two programmes over their lifetime to £123m.
CfW supports those furthest from the labour market, who live in the most deprived communities in Wales, where there is a realistic prospect of moving them closer to work and into employment. The programme provides a person centred approach, offering holistic support to tackle a range of complex barriers faced by participants.
PaCE specifically supports parents into training or employment where childcare is the main barrier to accessing employment. The programme supports economically inactive parents aged 25 and over, and parents aged 16-24 who are Not in Education, Employment or Training.
CfW became operational in May 2015, with PaCE being rolled out by April 2016. Supporting the CfW infrastructure, and providing intensive support to individuals who are not eligible for CfW, PaCE or other regional EU funded provision, the Communities for Work Plus programme was put in place in April 2018 and together with PaCE, these three form the Welsh Government’s Community Employability Programmes.
Up to 31 May 2019, collectively all three programmes have engaged with a total of 34,636 participants with 11,894 securing employment.
Working in the heart of our communities, these programmes complement the launch of Working Wales in April to ensure a seamless, personalised service is offered to individuals looking to get into, or back into, work.
Employability support is vital in times of economic uncertainty and I am extremely proud of the positive impact our Community Employability Programmes are having on the most disadvantaged in our communities and of the programmes staff’s commitment and passion in supporting participants to return to work.