Scrutiny Councillors Visit Two Communities First Sites

Over the last few days the Economic Inactivity Inquiry Panel members have visited two Communities First sites, to see for themselves the work that is being carried out in the community to help the most disadvantaged people in the most deprived areas. The key priority is to engage with people who are considered to be furthest from employment.

Communities First is  a community focused programme that supports the Welsh Government’s Anti-Poverty agenda.  The programme aims to contribute, alongside other programmes, to narrowing the education/skills, economic and health gaps between our most deprived and more affluent areas.

The programme will do this by:

  • Supporting those individuals, families and groups of people who have the poorest education/skills, economic and health outcomes especially in places where deprivation is most concentrated;
  • Increasing individuals’ life skills, self esteem and self reliance, including financial capability;
  • Supporting and strengthening local activity which contributes most to tackling poverty and deprivation, with community organisations and communities themselves as key partners.

The Communities First Vision Framework will have three strategic outcomes:

  • Prosperous Communities (Economic)
  • Learning Communities (Education/Skills, in particular through employability)
  • Healthier Communities (Health)

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The Action Resource Centre (ARC), Blaenymaes

Local residents are welcome to drop into the centre for help and guidance. They receive help to learn basic skills, including how to create a CV, email and find work opportunities online. Courses are also run from the centre, such as ‘The Clocking in Project’, which teaches skills required to find employment and helps with confidence building. The centre works closely with Job Centre Plus, who regularly refer people, in order for them to gain some of the basic skills required to find employment.

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The Job Club, Penlan Library

 Just like the ARC, the Job Club invites residents to use the facilities provided, which include a number of computers. Members of staff are on hand to help the residents to navigate the Internet, search for jobs, create CVs and send emails.

With each of the centres the key aim is to help the economically inactive to become more active by helping to make them more employable and by offering them the opportunity to learn new skills.

Panel members are now planning more visits to other relevant sites.

Panel members would welcome any feedback or suggestions. If you would like to contribute to this Panel, please email scrutiny@swansea.gov.uk, or phone Scrutiny Officer Juliet Rees on 01792 636393.

 

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