Work project comes to an end

It is with great sadness that the Rye Partnership sees the end of its Rural Employability Project. Over the last two years the Department of Work and Pensions Flexible Support Fund enabled us to support local people living in Rye and the surrounding area by offering work club services, employment support, IT skills and work experience opportunities to clients on receipt of work related benefits.

On the morning of Wednesday last week  (September 30),  clients who have accessed the many services, which the project provided, were invited to attend a final coffee morning and find up to date information on local groups, alternative provision  and which support services would remain available.

Flora Williams, project co-ordinator said: “In the past two years the project has helped many local people improve their employment prospects, with a high percentage gaining employment. We would like to thank the many local businesses and organisations who worked in partnership with us to achieve this success”.

Sadly the Flexible Support Fund is no longer available for this type of provision in Rye, partly as the very success of the project has seen the numbers of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants in the area fall significantly and partly due to wider austerity cuts by central Government. The Rye Partnership and the project team has worked hard to try and retain as many services as possible in the area.

The very popular Hastings Advice  &  Representation Centre benefit advisers visits will continue to provide a drop in session every Wednesday morning at Tilling Green Community Centre.  Employability training will continue using adult learning funds provided by Sussex Coast College Hastings and will retain contacts with Job Centre Plus, National Careers Service and Let’s Do Business (for those interested in setting up their own business).

Unfortunately, although not directly linked with the Rural Employability Project, the opportunity to “sign on” in Rye was withdrawn by the Job Centre over the summer, and will not return due to reductions in staffing and changes to Universal Credit. This will have a major impact on remaining JSA claimants, especially those in areas where the bus service has been reduced.

Photo: John Wylie

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