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100,000 people supported by Working Wales

Ellis Meredith-Owen

More than 100,000 people have been supported by Working Wales, delivered by Careers Wales, since its launch in May 2019.

The service is funded by the Welsh Government to provide careers guidance and employability support to those aged 16 and above.

Careers advisers and employability coaches at Working Wales can provide a range of support, from help with CVs and job applications, searching for jobs and apprenticeships and applying for funding, through to career changes and redundancy support.

Working Wales also delivers the ReAct+ programme, which is funded by the Welsh Government, and provides tailored support to help people into work and remove their barriers to employment.

This personalised package of support can include funding for training, practical advice and personal development support.

One individual who is encouraging others to reach out to have the same support he did is Ellis Meredith-Owen from Rhyl.

Forty-three-year-old Ellis had worked in care for 24 years until a personal loss helped him realise he had other ambitions.

By chance, he came across a Working Wales advert and decided to make an appointment.

Ellis’ careers adviser, Richard, guided him through questionnaires, research, quizzes and conversations to help him decide what job he wanted.

Ellis said: “The sessions with Richard helped me narrow down my focus and I decided to look at becoming a celebrant, something that had come up on the aptitude quizzes.

“Richard introduced me to ReAct+ funding and helped me apply. It meant I was able to look at the best course for my needs.

“The course was just life-changing, it was in a beautiful venue, and I felt I’d found my calling. I really enjoyed it and made friends I‘m still in touch with now.”

Since completing the training, Ellis is able to work as a celebrant while he works towards his National Open College Network (NOCN) qualification and has set up his own business.

He continued: “I saw Richard one last time after setting up my business. Throughout the whole process, he was so supportive and not judgmental at all – something I was worried about as a 43-year-old who had quit their job.

“Working Wales helped steady me and see a clear path. They shone a light in the dark.”

Welsh Government Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “We are committed to ensuring that everyone in Wales can access the employability and skills support that they need, when they need it. We want to empower people to control their own futures, whatever the uncertainties we face. Ellis’ inspirational story shows how our Working Wales service is helping people to do just that.

“Through the provision of a range of high quality, impartial careers guidance services, we are broadening people’s horizons and nurturing the skills people need to navigate today’s modern labour market. We are proud to see the Working Wales service achieve the recent milestone of supporting more than 100,000 people.”

Mandy Ifans, head of employment advice, at Careers Wales, said: “Ellis’ story is a fantastic example of how Working Wales can support people to find the career that is the best fit for them.

“I’m delighted to hear that Ellis has found success as a celebrant and is looking forward to continuing with his new business.

“Our team of experts is not only here to help people considering a career change like Ellis, but anyone who might benefit from careers support, whether that might be CV support, help applying for work or training opportunities, support after redundancy, or help identifying their career options.

“Please get in touch and we can support you with your next steps.”