NEARLY half a million pounds has been invested into a project to help unemployed people in Whiston over the last seven years.
And, as a result of the North West Coalfield Communities Regeneration Programme (NWCCRP), 17 local people have gained employment, 10 have improved their skills and 30 have been supported through an enterprise programme.
The £0.48m programme delivered a package of support aimed at addressing and reducing high levels of worklessness and developing a culture of entrepreneurship within coalfield communities.
The project has also helped youngsters in Cronton.
Under the scheme, young people aged 18 to 24 took part in six to 12 month work placements in environmental teams operated by Groundworks Merseyside and partners.
They carried out work including tree planting, clearing shrubs, developing allotments and reinvigorating football pitches.
The participants also received support for their wider job search, including help with CV writing, interview technique, and general employment advice.
As part of the work placements they had the opportunity to gain licenses in elements of environmental activities they were involved in, including: dumper truck, excavator, brush cutter, and strimmers.
They also benefited from general training in key aspects of employment including health and safety, maths and literacy, conflict resolution and risk assessment.
Coun Dave Lonergan, Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills, said: “This has been a fantastic programme which has made a huge difference to the local community in terms of the environment and helping people out of work to develop their skills and experience.
“The success of the programme is also a testament to the strong partnership work between the council, other local authorities and Groundwork Merseyside.”
At the end of their placement, participants were provided with a portfolio of their certificates and achievements, designed to help them when looking for future work.