South West Wales

840 targeted by Neath Port Talbot job scheme

Builders - generic
Image caption The scheme will run for the next three years

A £2.4m scheme aimed at helping 840 find work in Neath Port Talbot has been launched.

It tackles issues such as a lack of motivation or low self esteem and improving skills and aims to make those taking part more employable.

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said it will help them reach their potential and add to the economy.

The Conservatives said they would monitor the success of the scheme "with interest."

The initiative, backed by £1.5m from the European Social Fund, will be run by the New Sandfields Aberavon charity.

Mr Jones said it aimed to boost the confidence of economically inactive and unemployed individuals in the county, helping them achieve the "can do mindset" needed to secure a job.

"One of the key commitments of our One Wales programme of government is to ensure people can fulfil their full potential, find work and contribute to the prosperity of their local communities," he added.

"Meaningful employment"

"This project is a good example of how our management of European Structural Funds is supporting people to overcome a range of disadvantages - and at the same time helping Wales put the recession behind us."

The charity's chief executive Ian Isaac said: "Over the next three years we will support over 800 people in their journey towards higher self esteem, confidence, acquiring the skills and abilities to gain and regain entry to meaningful employment."

Conservative economy spokesman David Melding AM said: "The only way we will get long term unemployment in Wales down to levels comparable to the more wealthier parts of Britain is to enable more economically inactive people to work.

"This project offers the prospect of developing strategies to help the long term unemployed and economically inactive. We will watch it with interest."

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