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£50k grant to help jobless in hard-hit areas of N Wales


Glyndŵr University will roll-out an innovative free programme helping disadvantaged people in hard-hit areas learn the skills needed to find employment.

The Welsh University has received nearly £50,000 from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to educate jobless people in Wrexham and Flintshire.

The course provides the students with new skills, essential learning and vital information to help them become more employable.

Piloted this year in the Caia Park and town centre areas of Wrexham, Rhyl, Upper Denbigh and Mold, with funding from the Reaching Wider North & Mid-Wales Partnership, the Learning for Employability initiative has already proven popular, reinforcing Glyndwr’s position as a key player in the delivery of quality, effective high level learning in north east Wales.

The announcement comes as Glyndŵr is named among the top 10 universities in the UK for helping students from poorer families into professional jobs.

The Wrexham institution is joint seventh in the proposed Social Mobility Graduate Index, and number one in Wales.

Widening Access Co-ordinator, Sarah Lou Gaffney, said: “We’re delighted to receive funding from DWP so that our highly successful Learning for Employability Programme can continue. 

“It aims to raise the confidence, aspirations and the skill levels of the hardest to reach members of our communities and has engaged with people who had never considered going back into education as a way of improving their employment prospects.”

She added: “This funding allows our outreach programme to go further than ever before in working with, and in many cases turning the lives around, of those people in the most deprived areas of North Wales.”

The course is taught for half a day a week and includes an industry visit, time at Glyndŵr University and talks with external agencies such as AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham) and Job Centre Plus (JCP).

Participants enrol as part-time students and on completion gain 20 Higher Education credits to put towards further learning and a level four certificate. Entry requirements are limited to numeracy and literacy, and attendees must also be aged over 18 years.

The first cohort of 56 signed up thanks to the University’s strong partnership work with Communities First officers, JCP, Wrexham Council and other organisations.

From those who completed successfully, 35% went onto courses in further education and 41% later studied for a degree at Glyndŵr University.

The programme was delivered by level 6/7 Youth and Community and PcET students who were working towards their qualification and using the opportunity to put the theoretical side of their studies into practice.

They were observed by tutors and received guidance on planning and delivery of sessions to ensure strict QAA processes were adhered to.

“This new funding from DWP will allow us to take the course to new levels, seeking out untouched locations and groups of people who may never had thought they had it in them to achieve a level four qualification,” said Sarah.

“With the strong support structure we have here at Glyndŵr we are used to helping those who may have been out of education for a very long time, or those with a disability who thought they would never have the chance to succeed academically.

“Our widening access department is committed to ensuring that everyone with the potential to succeed here is given that chance, and we are keen to hear from anyone who would like to come and have an informal chat with us about how we can help them back onto their feet, or just into another pair of shoes if that’s what’s needed!”

The first Learning for Employability course supported by DWP will take place in the Hightown area of Wrexham, starting early October.

For further information or to book a free place, contact Sarah Lou Gaffney on 01978 293575 or email

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