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Jobless people could get employment search boost

Published date: 15 August 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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JOBLESS people in disadvantaged areas could receive a boost in their employment search after a university secured a £50,000 grant. 

Wrexham’s Glyndŵr University will roll out an innovative free programme helping disadvantaged people in hard-hit areas learn the skills needed to find employment. 

The university has received nearly £50,000 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to educate jobless people in Wrexham and Flintshire. 

The course provides the students with new skills, essential learning and vital information to help them become more employable. 

Piloted this year in the Caia Park and town centre areas of Wrexham, Rhyl, Upper Denbigh and Mold, with funding from the Reaching Wider North & Mid-Wales Partnership, the Learning for Employability initiative has already proven popular. 

The announcement comes as Glyndŵr is named among the top 10 universities in the UK for helping students from poorer families into professional jobs. 

The Wrexham institution is joint seventh in the proposed Social Mobility Graduate Index, and number one in Wales. 

Widening access co-ordinator, Sarah Lou Gaffney, said: “We’re delighted to receive funding from DWP so that our highly successful Learning for Employability Programme can continue. 

“It aims to raise the confidence, aspirations and the skill levels of the hardest to reach members of our communities and has engaged with people who had never considered going back into education as a way of improving their employment prospects.” 

She added: “This funding allows our outreach programme to go further than ever before in working with, and in many cases turning the lives around, of those people in the most deprived areas of North Wales.” 

The course is taught for half a day a week and includes an industry visit, time at Glyndŵr University and talks with external agencies including AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham) and Job Centre Plus (JCP).

Participants enrol as part-time students and on completion gain 20 Higher Education credits to put towards further learning and a level four certificate.

Entry requirements are limited to numeracy and literacy, and attendees must also be aged over 18 years. 

The first cohort of 56 signed up thanks to the University’s strong partnership work with Communities First officers, JCP, Wrexham Council and other organisations. 

From those who completed successfully, 35% went onto courses in further education and 41% later studied for a degree at Glyndŵr University. 

The first Learning for Employability course supported by DWP will take place in the Hightown area of Wrexham, starting early October. 

For further information or to book a free place, contact Sarah Lou Gaffney on 01978 293575 or emails.l.gaffney@glyndwr.ac.uk 

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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