Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles today welcomed EU funding to extend a scheme that is boosting the prospects of thousands of people across Wales.
The Active Inclusion Fund, managed by Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), has been awarded an additional £11.5 million from the European Social Fund.
The funding will enable third sector organisations across Wales to deliver community-based projects aimed at raising the skills and employability of people who have been out of work for more than 6 months or affected by factors such as work limiting health conditions or mental health issues.
The fund also provides paid work placements for up to 26 weeks designed to support the transition into sustainable employment.
The Active Inclusion Fund was launched in 2015 and has already supported over 11,000 people. The additional EU funding will now provide support to a further 8,700 people over the next 3 years, including around 3,000 young people.
Jeremy Miles said:
“We’ve already seen how successful the Active Inclusion Fund has been in working with people to remove barriers to employment. This is so important, not only to the economy, but in lifting the confidence of communities across the country.
“With a focus on helping people who face additional challenges in the jobs market, the fund will continue to help make Wales a fairer, more prosperous and more inclusive society.
“This is a great example of how Wales still benefits substantially from EU funds and I’m delighted this investment will be supporting the futures of so many people.”
WCVA Chief Executive, Ruth Marks, said:
“We are extremely pleased to be given the opportunity to continue building on the success of the Active Inclusion Fund and EU funding in Wales, which remain as important now as they have ever been. Especially as the country goes through a period of uncertainty, it will be reassuring for everyone that the opportunity remains to reach out and improve the lives of those furthest from the labour market in Wales.
“Since WCVA began distributing EU Funds to the third sector we’ve helped over 60,000 people improve their skills and 10,000 people into employment and we’re delighted to be able to continue to work together to make a difference.”