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CORUS MITIGATION INITIATIVE ANNOUNCED

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Minister for education and lifelong learning Jane Davidson has unveiled a major new initiative designed to help the...
Minister for education and lifelong learning Jane Davidson has unveiled a major new initiative designed to help the communities affected by the CORUS job losses.
Speaking at the education and lifelong learning committee meeting, Ms Davidson said:
'I am delighted to announce today the 'Modern Employment Skills for Steelworkers under threat of Redundancy' project.
'This project, designed to help alleviate the suffering being caused to steel communities, will commence immediately and has funding of approximately£300,000 from the national assembly for Wales, under the Wales Union Learning Fund, to support it for three years.
'The project has been designed by a partnership with the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, all other unions with members affected by the CORUS job losses, Wales TUC, training providers, (including Further and Higher Education), and the National Assembly for Wales.
'The principal aim of the project is to attract adults from steel manufacturing communities, who may have been traditionally excluded from education in the past, and help them into a learning environment.
'Thereby building confidence, raising self-esteem and engendering a culture of lifelong learning. This will increase each participant's willingness to take responsibility for their own learning development and raise their employability.
'This exciting project will, in the first instance, identify and train approx. 50 Corus employees under threat of redundancy to become 'Community Advocates for Learning' in each of the communities affected by the Corus job losses.
'Once trained, these advocates will provide a uniquely qualified service to support ALL individuals losing their jobs or under threat of redundancy in the affected communities.
'The service will include a Training Needs Analysis and Transferable Skills portfolio being prepared for each participating individual. The Community Advocate for Learning will therefore have an extensive database of each individual's relevant skills, which can be matched to future job opportunities and skill shortages.
'This database will provide invaluable input into the modules and units that will make up a new 'Modern Employment Skills' course that will be designed as part of this project. This will equip individuals with the necessary skills to achieve re-employment.
'In addition this year the assembly will support a further 13 Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) projects, with funding of£336,069. These innovative and diverse projects clearly demonstrate the value unions are adding to the lifelong learning agenda - from Union Learning Representatives in the rail industry to creating opportunities for unqualified construction workers to gain National Vocational Qualifications.
'It can be clearly seen that the Wales Union Learning Fund is making the concept of lifelong learning a reality for many employees - therefore it was the ideal 'breeding ground' to produce an innovative project to help the communities affected by the CORUS statements'.
NOTES
1.The Wales Union Learning Fund was launched in 1999 with a remit to support activity by trades unions, which promotes lifelong learning in the workplace. In it's first two years, over 30 projects were supported, with over£500,000 being contributed by the assembly to promote and embed a learning culture in Wales.
2.The processes involved in the 'Community Advocate for Learning' training course, together with the basic and key skills strategy will continue to be available and promoted long after the funding of this particular project is planned to cease.
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