Council back to work help is given go ahead

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A WORK, skills and enterprise programme to help thousands of Doncaster people into work was given the go ahead this week.

A key element of the Doncaster Council Ready to Work scheme - part of a larger £4 million programme that also includes support to businesses - is preparing people for work or to become self-employed.

Ready for Work includes the continuation of successful schemes, some previous provided under the Success Doncaster label, such as Job Mates and community learning and engagement champions.

An important part of the scheme will be to provide support to people to break down individual barriers to “ economic engagement” which will include providing life coaching, substance mis-use support and childcare,

Support will also be available to people to help them explore and develop viable business, enterprise and employment ideas.

Over the next two years, Ready for Work aims to get 800 people “ready for economic engangement”, see 750 people in work or business, 500 in sustained employment for three months and a further 415 is sustained employment for six months, according to a report approved by the council on Monday as part of its budget-setting for 2011/12.

The cost of the Ready to Work initiatives is likely to be around £1.5 million over the next two years. Support will be available in community bases and on-line. Mobile opportunity centres will provide a “one stop shop” for training help and job search support across communities to help even more people.

Working with employers in the private, public and voluntary sector to provide work placements for unemployed people or paid training posts in the private sector is also expected to get around 350 people off the uemployment register.

The report also detailed plans to refurbish and equip a derelict nursery in Bentley and an allotment site in Mexborough to create a horticultural training centre.

A specific area of the overall work, skills an enterprise programme will ensure that the local workforce has the skills needed to take up jobs created by inward- investors at Robin Hood Airport and its associated business park.