WORKING LINKS’ Cornwall branch has joined a nationwide celebration to mark getting 100,000 people into employment in the last eight years.
Cornwall’s branch of this unique organisation, which helps disadvantaged communities, was responsible for helping 162 of that total – more than twice as many as hoped, despite the fact it became involved just three years ago.
The branch was also tasked with organising training in both basic and vocational skills for 105 people. Again, far exceeding expectation, Working Links in Cornwall encouraged 274 people into training, almost three times the target.
Regional Director of Working Links, Frances Brennan, hosted a special lunch to thank representatives from all the associated organisations that have helped achieve these outstanding results.
Represented at the event were: Learning and Skills Council (LSC), Job Centre Plus, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Citizens Advice Bureau, Cornwall County Council, South West Regional Development Agency and Common Purpose.
“It’s superb to have achieved so much,” said Frances Brennan. “I want to thank all of you for your part in this because it is by working together that we have far exceeded our targets and success like this puts Cornwall on the map!”
The LSC, as part of its European Social Fund (ESF) programme, was responsible for funding the basic skills and vocational training that played a key part in the success of the Working Links initiative. In Cornwall this was supported by Objective One ESF investment.
LSC Skills Development Director – ESF – for the South West Region, Mark Williams, said getting people trained and back into work was essential to this county’s success.
He said: “It’s all about working with the most challenging groups to inspire individuals and enable them to make that step back into the workforce and so help enhance the economic potential of Cornwall through a well-skilled and adaptable workforce.”
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership Office, said: “I would like to congratulate all the partners who have contributed to this success. People are the engine of our economy and society and helping just one person into gainful employment is success enough.”
Frances Brennan explained that in Cornwall Working Links was contracted to run the Warbarth Programme with Devon and Cornwall Probation Service finding employment for one of the most challenging groups – ex-offenders.
Working Links in Cornwall has won two awards for the success of delivering the Warbarth Programme; one from the Howard League for Penal Reform and another from the National Criminal Justice Act.