Bridges into work

by Colin Dexter

Bridges into Work is an exciting project for economically inactive and unemployed people in South East Wales, with a £10million grant from the European Social Fund.

The project provides a boost to individuals and companies, providing opportunities for retraining or improving skills in subjects that are in demand by employers. The aim is to help over 5,000 people into sustainable employment by January 2015.

Where is it available?

Six Local Authority regions; Caerphilly, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff have joined together to strategically develop and run Bridges into Work.

The main contacts for the six local authorities are available at the bottom of the page.

Who is it for?

It is available to all residents of the Bridges into Work region who are:

  • Not in full time education and
  • Either not working or working for less than 16 hours per week

    but who wish to move closer to the job market with the ultimate aim of becoming employed.

What can it offer?

  • Free career guidance, advice and information as well as support with job searches, CV writing and personal presentation skills to help people succeed at interviews
  • Free generic vocational courses such as food hygiene, first aid, health and safety skills training in generic transferable skills such as literacy and numeracy skills, confidence building, IT courses, formal qualifications
  • Additional support for people facing barriers to working such as work limiting health conditions, childcare needs and transport barriers

Why is the scheme important?

The current economic situation in the UK is making finding sustainable employment much tougher. Bridges into Work is working with some of the most deprived areas in Wales where unemployment and incapacity are already high. Helping people move from economic inactivity to work can be a long and expensive process with many interventions required for each person.

The project partners are planning to use this last round of European money to help make a real difference for people in the region.

Main contacts for the six Local Authorities

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Melanie Sacre – Bridges into Work Learners’ Mentor
Tel: 01495 309951

Bridgend County Borough Council
Catherine Powell – Bridges into Work Outreach Co-ordinator
Tel: 01656 642619

Caerphilly County Borough Council
Catherine Brewer – Bridges Into Work Co-ordinator
Tel: 01443 833445

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Neighbourhood Learning Centre
Enquiries Tel: 01685 727099

Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council
Ceri-Ann Boyce
Tel: 01443 743968

Torfaen County Borough Council
Croesyceiliog CEC, Cwmbran
Tel: 01633 647740/647742

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