Features Pictured from left to right are Lesley Griffiths AM, Ian Lucas MP, Jan Shone (BiTC) and Terri-Lynda Collins (Prime Cymru)

A new and unique project has been launched to help some of the 20,000 people between 50 and state pension age who are jobless in Wrexham and Flintshire

PRIME of Life will be offering one to one support to identify and overcome barriers to enable older people to find employment or start their own businesses.

PRIME Cymru’s delivery partner Business in the Community (BiTC) will be offering job taster sessions and work placements to unemployed older workers in the two counties through their member organisations.

For many years, schemes have been available for young people to obtain work placements to gain confidence and experience. This innovative project will bring similar support to older jobseekers looking to return to work.

Many will have lost confidence or will be looking to work in a different industry or environment. With the support of local and national businesses there will be the opportunity to gain practical work experience and knowledge. Everyone who signs up to the scheme will be able to access an experienced personal mentor.

At the recent launch of the project in Wrexham, Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Repeated studies tell us of the benefits of work in terms of individual happiness, confidence and health. I believe that there is something wrong with a society which often writes off its members beyond a certain age.

“It is early days for this scheme, but it is already actively assisting fifteen people across two counties and has already helped clients into work.”

David Pugh, PRIME Cymru’s chief executive said, “In Wales there are approximately 250,000 people between the age of fifty and state pension age who are economically inactive. Over 20,000 of those live in Wrexham and Flintshire.

“They are five times more likely to be made redundant and eight times less likely to find alternative employment that their younger counterparts. There are ten times as many people over fifty who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEETS) as those under the age of thirty.”

The project will be funded until March 2015 by the BIG Lottery and the European Social Fund.

PRIME Cymru have employed a vastly experienced co-ordinator to work with individuals and mentors in Wrexham and Flintshire. Terri-Lynda Collins can be contacted directly on 07595494515 or by email at terry-lynda@prime-cymru.co.uk