All housing associations in Wales contribute to the Welsh economy, through community investment and as key local employers.
Housing associations also bring together a range of opportunities, and partners that provide additional support for people, to help tenants access good quality and sustainable employment; with some housing associations also dedicating resources to helping tenants develop their skills, and access training and advice
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Boosting potential through skills and confidence workshops - Cynon Taf Community Housing Group
Cynon Taf Community Housing Group was awarded over £275,000 from the WCVA active inclusion fund for two tenant employability projects.
The 'potential project' launched on 1st July 2022, while a community project launched later on 1st September.
Both schemes aim to help tenants and those within the local communities aged 25 and over who are looking to improve their skills, with the goal of moving into employment. Project officers work closely with participants to identify skills or activities that would be useful to them, such as confidence building, money management, digital skills, volunteering and more.
One participant - Miss X - was supported by the project team to update her CV and learn interview techniques to help in her search for employment opportunities. Miss X also took part in digital confidence sessions and was accessed online Welsh taster courses.
Since being involved in the project Miss X feels more confident, motivated and less isolated than she had following the COVID-19 pandemic. She said: "I feel I have more confidence than before I came onto the project, I've made friendships through some of the sessions and course work which has benefitted me not feeling so isolated."
Working Wardrobe partnership - Rhydyfelin hub partnership
Working Wardrobe has partnered with Moxie People, Platfform, Newydd Housing Association, Tai Calon, United Welsh, Working Families and Bluegg to launch a Rhydyfelin Hub. The project aims to give people confidence to kickstart their careers by providing people with free workwear and interview attire.
The hub opened on 10th March 2022 and has since supplied clothing to lots of local people applying for work or in recently secured new roles.
1:1 tenant skill sessions - Cadwyn Housing Association
Cadwyn Housing Associations offers 1:1 sessions to help tenants with their employability skills, such as: CV writing; cover letters and statements; job searching; job application support; interview preparation; in-work support; Universal Credit management; digital support; training funding; confidence building; provisional driving licence support; funding for interview clothes, and funding for travel.
The Little Shed community hub - RHA Wales
RHA Wales has turned its old office space into a modern multi use community hub called The Little Shed.
The housing association joined forces with the Black Sheep youth project (part of ARC Training Company) to refurbish the space on Dunraven Street in Tonypandy, which was then opened to the community in September 2022.
The Black Sheep project supports young people to learn skills to work in construction. 30 young people from Maes Gwyn and Ferndale Community School helped renovate the Little Shed as part of the project, and completed Level 1 in health and safety in construction, Level 1 in asbestos awareness and Level 2 in manual handling along the way.
The Little Shed is now home to RHA’s food parcel project Grub Hub, and a community fridge project; it also hosts Repair Cafe Wales, Digital Fridays and our health and wellbeing programme – Be Active RCT.
Other local contractors and suppliers also supported the venture through RHA’s community Giving Back benefits programme.
Tenant skills, training and experience foundation - Tai Tarian
Tai Tarian has just taken on its tenth group of recruits to its Copper Foundation, which aims to give people who are struggling to find work a route back into employment. The foundation launched in 2017 but now, in 2022, its role in supporting tenants into jobs is more important than ever.
People enrolling on the scheme are given 12-month paid contracts to work on Tai Tarian’s external improvement programme. During this time, they receive training, skills and experience which will help them go on to find further employment.
In its first four years, the foundation provided opportunities to 75 people. They worked on around 600 Tai Tarian properties, enhancing their appearance and security.
One of the new recruits recently said: “I’ll mainly be working in the area where I live and helping to enhance its appearance, so it is something I’m really looking forward to.”
Nick Cope, Tai Tarian’s Head of Capital Investment said: “The project is all about giving people a great experience of the world of work and over the next 12 months they will undergo numerous training courses and play a huge part in improving the external areas of our properties.
“During their 12 months with us they will gain a whole host of practical experience, working alongside our experienced team of tradespeople. But, just as importantly, we’ll also be providing them with additional support such as interview technique training and advice on how to write CVs and fill in job application forms, to prepare them for the next stage of their careers.”
Have any questions or would like further information on how this scheme was set up? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Adra launched Academi Adra in 2021 to provide work experience, skills, apprenticeships and full-time employment opportunities to tenants and local people. During the first year of operation the project supported 70 individuals.
Dream job for Dylan
Tai Calon was contacted by a father asking if they could offer employability support to his son, Dylan.
Its Wellbeing Coach Jo Reames, contacted Dylan to discuss what help he needed. Dylan was a very well-mannered, pleasant, likeable young man who disclosed that he was on the autistic spectrum and had struggled with some aspects of mainstream education.
He was currently undertaking an IT course at Coleg Gwent. Dylan went on to explain that he had a real passion for computers. From a young age, he had been rebuilding and repairing desktops and laptops as a hobby and wanted to apply for an IT apprenticeship with Ebbw Fawr Learning Community.
Jo then supported Dylan in tailoring his CV and application to meet the role’s requirements. A few weeks later, Dylan was invited to interview. To strengthen his current IT experience, Jo arranged a volunteering placement with Sirhowy Woodlands C.I.C. to update their website. Dylan received excellent feedback from his placement and Jo then delivered an interview technique session to ensure Dylan was well prepared for the real thing.
A few days after his interview, he was contacted by Ebbw Fawr to offer him the apprenticeship saying his interview was exemplary and he was the standout candidate.
Dylan started his new role and said that he loves his dream job and is very grateful for his support from Jo.