Welsh Labour’s Social Services and Public Health Minister, Rebecca Evans has announced an extension of funding for the Out of Work Service programme to August 2020.
Mike Hedges said that this is good news as this is a scheme which has helped many young people from Swansea over the past few years. I have visited drug rehabilitation schemes and seen the damage that substance misuse can cause and this is a valuable scheme for people who have substance misuse issues who are also long term unemployed. I hope that this extra funding will continue to enable people to receive the support that they need.’
The Out of Work Programme (OoWS), which was launched in September 2016, provides peer support and employment advice to people recovering from substance misuse and/or mental health issues.
The scheme supports people aged 16-24 who are recovering from substance misuse and, or mental health issues and are not in education, employment or training. It also helps people aged 25 or older who are recovering from substance misuse and, or mental health issues and are long-term unemployed.
The programme is funded by the European Social Fund, the Welsh Labour Government and the Substance Misuse Area Planning Boards in Wales. It is available across Wales and in addition to helping people recover and gain life and employability skills, it offers transitional support for up to three months to participants who find work.
The extension of funding will ensure both groups continue receiving support until 2020. Planned total funding for the programme will be £17.3m, including £11.5m from the European Social Fund.
Further information about the service can be found here.