WITH youth unemployment rates falling fast in Wales, is Jobs Growth Wales one of the best schemes to come from the Welsh Government?
The scheme has given a number of community businesses in Denbighshire the opportunity to employ a new member of staff from their community as well as receive help to subsidise their pay.
The Welsh Government scheme has helped more than 4,000 people between 16 and 24 including Mary Booth from Denbigh.
In April Mary started working in Vintage MaryDei Shop, a social enterprise to support carers, as it combines her love of clothes and social care.
Mary, who has a BTEC in Health and Social Care, said: “I knew about the carer side of the shop so it was a big plus to work here.
“The best thing is a lot of the businesses on Jobs Growth Wales are unique places. It is something to look at as a change of career or to look for something different.
“I love working here it is really different. If we go to the bigger places like Manchester or Liverpool you would not find a vintage shop like this with the carers element.”
Mary’s placement is for six months and will then do an apprenticeship two days a week at Llandrillo college and work in the shop.
Mary also has regular visits from Craig Allman, a co-ordinator from Llandrillo College to see how she’s getting on.
Mary’s employer Mair Jones, who set up Vintage MaryDei in late 2011, said she could never have paid for a fulltime employee without the scheme.
Mair, a member of Denbigh Busienss Group, said: “Before Mary even came in for an interview I knew I wanted her for the job.
“She loves vintage anyway but you can teach people retail I couldn’t teach someone what the shop is all about, which is carers.
“I want other businesses to know about this scheme to help them as well as young people in the area.
“The first time we went through this process was about two years ago and we didn’t really have anyone apply.
“It was difficult the first time but now we’ve struck gold.”
The shop is also receviing an NHS Carers Measure fund to help support more carers in the community.
Mair, a former carer, said: “It is great they have acknowledged the way we reach out to carers and hidden carers as something special.
“We also have volunteer opportunities for former carers to develop their confidence and help them get back into the community.
“As a carer when your loved one dies no one is there anymore it leaves a massive whole. There is no job to go back to your social life has disappeared. volunteering can give you that boost of confidence.”
For information about the shop visit www.marydei.com and for the scheme visit www.careerswales.com/en/
See full story in the Free Press