£13m scheme to transform the lives of jobless families
Thousands of people in Cornwall who have never worked are to be helped into employment thanks to a £13 million project.
Cornwall Works with Families is a three-year programme aimed at supporting 5,000 people in families where no one has worked or there is a history of not working over several generations.
It will target the whole family with 12 months of bespoke support, delivered by organisations tackling issues such as addiction, reading and writing difficulties, health or simply lack of training and confidence.
Mark Yeoman, of the European Social Fund, which provided some of the financial support for the scheme said it had a "proven track record of helping people into work".
He said: "Cornwall Works with Families will help family members make progress towards getting and keeping a job, turning around the lives of the entire family."
The project is a local version of a broader Department for Work and Pensions campaign and aims to help a minimum of 1,250 people into work.
Cornwall Works with Families will give particular attention to veterans and their families and jobless people affected by family breakdown.
Paragon Concord, which will manage the programme is expected to involve other groups, such as Real Ideas Organisation (RIO); Lizard Pathways, part of Cornwall Development Company; Penwith Community Development Trust; ReZolve; and Volunteer Cornwall.
Others working on the scheme include Pentreath and Cornwall Foundation of Promise and the network is expected to grow.
Sandy Dyer, RIO contracts operations manager, said each family would be given an action plan designed for their needs.
"There is a range of provision available depending on the client's need," she said.
"So we determine this first and we put an action plan together, in agreement with the client, to keep everyone on track and to measure the progression towards employment.
"There are a lot of activities on offer for the clients, from planning an outdoor activity with other families to helping them address health issues, as well as doing group work with like-minded people around building confidence and communications skills. Some more work-related activities could be preparing a travel to work plan and testing different methods of travel or helping you stand out from a crowd when applying for a job."
Sam Ward, father of two young daughters, of Zelah, near Truro, was referred to RIO.
The 22-year-old said it was already paying dividends and that he had ambitions to become an engineer and get off benefits, "so the family can become self-sufficient in the long-term".
He has already undertaken courses on self-employment, work experience and money management and has started an access course in science at Truro and Penwith College.
Ms Dyer said it had really helped: "Overall Mr Ward is now focused on his journey but is a realist in its timescale.
"He is confident and motivated to continue."