AN INSPIRING employment and education project has supported hundreds of Conwy youngsters over the last three years.
Launched in 2018, ADTRAC in Conwy has successfully helped 16-24 year olds across the county find or move towards jobs via bespoke mentoring, counselling, work experience, training and volunteering opportunities.
Over 350 referrals were made to the project and 200 young people supported, with a significant number of them gaining a qualification, moving into education and training, or starting a new career.
Others were signposted to partner organisations for help with a range of issues, from anxiety to homelessness, drug use and the negative and damaging impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite these challenging times the project has had many successes, with participants revealing it had a “positive” impact on their lives, “motivated me to change” and had a major effect on confidence.
Reflecting on the achievements of ADTRAC, Principal Officer for Employability and Skills, Libby Duo, said: “The team has had a positive effect on the lives of so many young people in Conwy, empowering them to take the next steps forward with confidence and belief.
“Even during the pandemic our mentors and counsellors adapted and communicated via virtual platforms, phone calls and email to ensure any employment or education opportunities were capitalised on.
“The feedback we have received before and during this challenging period has been incredible, and we are pleased to have been able to carry on helping youngsters in Conwy when they needed it most.”
ADTRAC was an EU-funded project supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.
Its target was to reduce the number of 16-24 year olds Not in Employment Education or Training (NEET) or economically inactive, and help them to remove complex barriers to work, learning and training.
The scheme is to be replaced by a new service this summer – Cynnydd/Progress, which is core funded by the Conwy Youth Service and will work in partnership with Conwy Employment Hub, which oversees the successful Communities for Work, Communities for Work Plus, and PaCE initiatives.
Cynnydd will continue ADTRAC’s good work and ensure young people in the area who are at risk of being NEET receive the best possible guidance and care.
Tracey Owen, who will manage the Cynnydd project, said “We want to take ADTRAC’s legacy and reassure the young people of Conwy county – especially those most hard to reach – that we are there for you, whatever you are facing.
“This is a voluntary programme; we just want to help and will do all we can to build better futures for those who come to us.”