Last updated: 24.03.14

Lift scheme targets unemployed in Wales

A new scheme has been launched in Wales to provide vocational training to those who face the biggest difficulties finding work.The Lift programme was launched by minister Jeff Cuthbert and aims to give training and subsequent job opportunities specifically to those living in Welsh homes where no one works.According to the BBC, as many as 5,000 people currently in long-term unemployment will benefit from the scheme, which has already been piloted in several areas across the country. Mr Cuthbert said that Lift would help some of the "hardest to reach people in our society".Those who have already benefited from the vocational training have been quick to sing the scheme's praises, with one successful graduate of a pilot at Tredegar Fire Station in Blaenau Gwent, Abbey Ashman, saying that she has previously struggled with drugs and homelessness before being given the opportunity to turn her life around.She said that the six-week course had provided her with new hopes and dreams towards the development of a career, as well as the prospect of full-time employment for the first time."Before I started this course, I had no confidence," she told the news provider. "I didn't think I was going to have much of a future because of my past. I didn't trust anyone… I just thought I was going to be a down and out for the rest of my life. This course has been brilliant, changed me completely."The Tredegar Fire and Rescue Service pilot was run for 13 youths who, according to area manager Martin Henderson, would never have been successful if they had applied for a job because of a lack of experience on their CVs and long-term bouts of unemployment.For careers where experience is vital, vocational training is a great way to acquire this while also earning a living. Unlike university courses where many of the skills you learn will only be of indirect consequence to your career, apprenticeships and similar schemes allow you to laser focus on what you need to develop along your chosen career path.