Shadow Employment Minister Stephen Timms MP has visited Rhyl following an invitation from local MP, Chris Ruane. Chris introduced Stephen to the Rhyl City Strategy and Rhyl Football in the Community, which have helped hundreds of long-term unemployed people back-into-work.
Stephen and Chris were joined by local AM Ann Jones at a meeting of the City Strategy, which has the support of over 160 organisations with an interest in the employability agenda.
Speaking after the event, Stephen said: “Chris has regularly spoken about the successes of the City Strategy and Football in the Community in the House of Commons and I was keen to see how these organisations operate.
“Sadly, we know that the longer people are out of work, and especially with young people, the less likely it is that they will actively look for work so we need to look at the organizations which are having success in this area to see if it can be replicated elsewhere, particularly with the Tory-led coalition government prolonging the recession with its economic policies.
“I would like to thank all those involved for taking the time to speak to me today and they have certainly given me food-for-thought.”
Since its establishment in 2007 as one of the Department for Work and Pensions’ “Cities Strategy” pathfinders, Rhyl City Strategy has worked with its partners to develop a range of programmes and initiatives to provide additional support to help local people find and sustain employment.
Over 1,500 individuals from the Rhyl area have engaged in these programmes and improved their employability by building confidence and self-esteem, improving basic skills, developing work-related skills and gaining industry-recognised qualifications.
Around 500 people have been supported into employment through their participation in the programmes.
“The coalition government cannot continue to ignore the long-term unemployed and it should be looking at organisations such as the City Strategy and Football in the Community to see what they have done to tackle local unemployment,” said Mr Ruane.
“There are many organisations in the Vale of Clwyd which are committed to giving people the confidence, skills and experience needed to get back into work and I am keen to see their success copied and used elsewhere.”