Headlines: January 19th, 2005

A project that has been helping parents in part of Wales to improve their chances of finding employment is to be rolled out across the rest of the country. The Genesis project was set up in Rhondda Cynon Taff in May 2002 and now local authorities throughout Wales will be invited to run the project in their own areas.The original scheme was established with financial support from European Objective 1 funding. It was designed to provide advice, guidance, support and childcare for people wanting to get back into work, training or other learning opportunities. The overall aim of Genesis is to remove barriers to people finding employment as a means to improve the economic activity of people in Wales.

Following the success of the project in Rhondda Cynon Taff, more European funding has been secured to extend it across Wales. Each local authority will now be invited to undertake the Genesis project with the funding being distributed according to the level of match funding each council can identify.

Welsh Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services, Dr Brian Gibbons, said that in Rhondda Cynon Taff more than nineteen hundred people, mainly parents, had been helped to access free childcare and guidance so they could undertake learning and training or take up work opportunities. “I am pleased that other parents across Wales will now have the same opportunity to benefit from good quality childcare provision whilst trying to improve the quality of life for their children,” he added.

Carol Daniel, Head of Early Years in Rhondda Cynon Taff and founder of the project, said its success was a testament to the commitment and dedication of parents who wanted to build a better life for their children. Many parents gained in confidence, she said, after having their children and felt more positive about learning new skills to develop their careers.