Medway Council jobs scheme wins international acclaim

A council initiative to help get people back into work has been shortlisted for an award celebrating Europe’s most innovative projects.

The Medway Council led project SUCCES, which is designed to give unemployed people the help they need to get back into work, has been nominated to compete in the annual Regiostars awards, run by the European Commission.

The Regiostars Award identifies good practice in regional development and highlights original and innovative projects that could be inspiring to other areas.

SUCCES (Sustainable Uplifting Client Centred Employment Support) is part funded by the European Union’s Interreg IVA 2 Seas programme and provides training and specialist support services to people over the age of 16 either looking for work or with a low skills set and little experience.

This can be anything from help writing CVs and interview techniques to self esteem courses and networking events with local employers.

The cross border initiative is currently running in Medway, Great Yarmouth and Waveney, Grand-Synthe, France and Kortrijk, Belgium.

In Medway, the project is led by the council and involves the work of a range of community groups and services, including the Employ Medway Advice Centre, All Saints Community Project, Strood Community Project, Medway Citizens Advice Bureau and the North Kent Training Service.

Tayler Bennett, 22, from Chatham, had been unemployed for nearly a year when he was helped by the SUCCES project. He is now a finance apprentice at Medway Council.

“The SUCCES project has given me the confidence and self belief that I needed to not just secure employment, but start a career that is looking to be a prosperous one.

“I found the self esteem course in particular was invaluable, and I would recommend it to absolutely anyone” said Tayler.

The project has been shortlisted along with two other Medway Council led projects AIMER and ACCES, and selected as final nominees for the Regiostars competition, ahead of more than 60 other projects taking place across the UK and Europe.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Strategic Development and Economic Growth, Cllr Jane Chitty, said: “It’s great to see the work of the SUCCES project and the team behind it being recognised for the valuable work they are doing to help people in Medway.

“We are extremely proud of our European projects here in Medway, and over the years have managed to lever in millions of pounds of investment that goes to the heart of our communities, and really makes a difference, in this case, through getting people into work.”

Finalists will be invited to present their project to an independent jury in October 2012 and the final competition winners will be announced in February 2013.

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