The Welsh Government has announced the launch of a scheme that will aim to support thousands of people into work, education or work following substance or alcohol misuse.
The Out of Work service will be looking to support more than 10,500 people who are in recovery from the misuse of alcohol and substances, as well as those struggling with poor mental health, as they look to access training, qualifications and work experience. This will be done through activities that will build participants’ confidence, whilst using peer mentors who have past experience of what they are going through to provide support.
People between the ages of 16 and 24 who aren’t in education, employment or training are eligible for the programme, as well as those over the age of 25 who are long-term unemployed or economically inactive.
Lynne Neagle, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, said:
“It’s really important that anyone who has experienced substance or alcohol misuse, or who have battled with mental ill-health, is afforded the same opportunity as everyone else to study for qualifications, start training or begin a new job, which is often the springboard that helps people rebuild their lives.
“I was really pleased to meet the participants, peer mentors and staff in Wrexham, who shared some very inspirational stories with me.
“I’m really pleased, through the Out of Work service, the Welsh Government will be able to support this programme, I wish everyone taking part in this excellent programme all the best in their future endeavours.”
Originally supported by European funding until 2022, the service has been recommissioned thanks to £13 million worth of funding from the Welsh Government. This funding will be spread over the course of three years and has led to contracts being awarded for the delivery of the service across Wales.
The scheme is also supporting the Welsh Government’s Plan for Employability and Skills that was launched in 2022. This shows how the government intends to support those with long-term health conditions to get back into work by looking to prevent people from falling out of employment. This will be done through health, early intervention and healthy workplaces.
Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said:
“Improving the wellbeing of everyone in Wales is the mission which drives the Welsh Government’s approach to the economy. As part of our Plan for Employability and Skills, we’ve committed to supporting those furthest away from the labour market into work.
“Employment can be a lifeline for people recovering from substance misuse or mental health issues. By removing the barriers to employment, this project will support people across Wales to enter and stay in the jobs market – thereby creating the stronger, fairer, greener and healthier Wales we all want to see.”