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East Suffolk: Back to work scheme receives £65k

PUBLISHED: 10:12 21 January 2014

East Suffolk Partnership (ESP) chairman Ray Herring.

East Suffolk Partnership (ESP) chairman Ray Herring.

Paul Nixon Photography 07904296577

A scheme helping unemployed people in east Suffolk return to work is hoped to be up and running by April after £65,000 in start-up funding was awarded to the project.

The East Suffolk Partnership (ESP) made the contribution to the Work Club programme to help job seekers across the region develop the skills and confidence to find employment.

Partnership chairman, Suffolk Coastal District Council leader Ray Herring, said the scheme was likely to help about 300 people back into work and would be targeted at areas where there was most need.

“Although the east coast has relatively low levels of unemployment there are a number of pockets across the district where it remains a problem,” he said.

“And for many people who want to get back in to work it can sometimes be quite a difficult process.

“We want to identify where we can provide support in ways that are not currently offered to help those people.”

Suffolk County Council will use the funding to contract a provider which will deliver clubs in Lowestoft, Beccles, Leiston, Saxmundham, Woodbridge and Felixstowe.

Mr Herring said the successful provider would be expected to engage strongly with local business associations and the voluntary sector.

Suffolk Coastal councillor Christopher Hudson said he “backed the scheme 100%”.

“We really need to be helping people back into work, developing their self-esteem and moving forward,” he said.

The focus will be on job seekers aged 25 and older but all those who are unemployed will be welcome. It is hoped to become self-sufficient after the initial funding boost.

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