The Minister attended a special event at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan in Ebbw Vale, where she met some of those helped by the programme and their mentors. Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has been a major collaborator on the project in the Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly areas and, across its various sites, has provided around 100 opportunities to people on the programme.
Delivered across nine areas in Wales, Lift provided dedicated one-to-one support to people from households where nobody has worked for at least six months who face employment barriers. Mentors worked with people to identify reasons why they are not in work and to provide support to help overcome those issues. Mentors remain in contact with participants for up to twelve months after they start in their new job or training placement to offer ongoing support.
The programme met its target two months early and by the end of the scheme in December 2017 had provided 5,174 training and employment opportunities, including helping 1,099 into work.
While the programme has come to an end, the learning from it will be taken forward in to Communities for Work Plus, a £12m per annum programme which will provide intensive mentoring and support to those furthest from the jobs market from April 2018.
The Minister said:
“It has been a pleasure to celebrate the success of Lift and to meet some of the people supported by the programme. It is particularly pleasing that some have moved on into employment with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and that others are about to do the same.
“I am delighted that Lift has exceeded its target of supporting 5,000 people into job and training opportunities. As I have seen today, the programme has had an incredibly positive impact on people’s lives, giving them the confidence, skills, experience and information they need to succeed.
“This is an excellent example of how we are working across Welsh Government departments and with many partner organisations to support people to gain skills, training and employment. I want to thank our partners in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board for their vital contribution.”