Thousands of people have been supported by voluntary sector led employability & skills services. But as the end of European funding approaches, many organisations are left fearful for the future.
Since October 2015, WCVA’s Active Inclusion Fund has supported 175 organisations, 475 projects and 22,150 participants. It has awarded £48 million of European funds, which has levered in an additional £12 million in match funding, provided by grant recipients.
This funding has been a vital lifeline for those furthest away from the labour market, some of the most disadvantaged people in Wales. But as European funding comes to a close there are major concerns that replacement funds are not yet in place.
VULNERABLE PEOPLE LEFT WITH NO PROVISION
For many organisations and the people and communities they support, it may already be too late. With no funding readily available, services will be wound down, staff will be lost and some organisations, unable to sustain the loss, will close. This will, almost overnight, leave some of Wales’s most vulnerable people without any appropriate provision.
WCVA and several Active Inclusion projects have been speaking to the BBC about these concerns and what the loss of funding would mean for communities and individuals. Read more about this could impact the lives of so many.
If replacement funding is not confirmed soon, many projects will be forced to close or downsize. This means they may need to start from scratch to re-build capacity and service delivery at a much greater cost if new funding is confirmed later on.
We’re calling on key decision makers to provide funding to replace Active Inclusion as a matter of urgency to avoid loss of jobs and to enable projects to adapt their services to new funding over a reasonable timescale.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
We’re urging voluntary organisations who provide this invaluable support through Active Inclusion projects, and those who you serve, to share these news items to help ensure that our voices are heard.
It’s also important that you highlight to your local MS, MP and Local Council that the important work you do through Active Inclusion Funding, or other EU Funded projects, is close to the end. And with no certainty as to the timescales and funding routes that will be available to you through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).
If you have any questions or concerns relating to this, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.