Being out of work for a long time can lead to real hardship and the longer it is, the tougher it will be to get work.
So I was delighted yesterday that the Welsh Labour government announced a new 3-year scheme backed by £7.5m of EU money to support long term unemployed people in Neath Port Talbot, Swansea and West Wales.
The new Workways+ project is being led by Neath Port Talbot Council and will offer training and paid work experience opportunities to 4,000 long-term unemployed people to help them get back on track.
Workways+ focuses on individuals affected by work-limiting health conditions and disabilities, as well as those with care responsibilities and low or no skills helping them to take their first steps to re-engage with or enter the jobs market. It will also offer one-to-one mentoring, support with job-seeking and interview skills, and the chance to gain new qualifications.
It is absolutely vital that we support the most disadvantaged people in our communities into well-paid work wherever possible and this scheme which will help many to gain skills and work experience, will be a major boost to many long term unemployed people locally.