A PROGRAMME launched this week is set to break down barriers for Clacks people prevented from seeking work due to family or personal issues.

The Pre-employability in Clackmannanshire (PEC) project will be run by a range of charities and social enterprises in a bid to provide opportunities for people of all ages.

It will look to help 150 participants this year, up until the end of June, with support tailored to meet individual needs.

Opportunities could include short placements at places such as the Japanese Garden at Cowden or All Cleaned Up CIC, learning key and soft skills, as well as targeted support to enter specific jobs.

Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface (CTSI) is the lead partner for the project, which also involves organisations such as Clackmannanshire Economic Regeneration Trust (CERT) and APEX.

Anthea Coulter, chief officer at CTSI, said: “The thinking behind this project is that many people in Clackmannanshire are not ready to move into work straight away due to family or personal issues but may want to at least try some training or get some individual support without the pressure of applying for jobs, and in a way they can manage.

“Getting out to take part in some activities and volunteering has lots of significant and recognised health benefits, especially at the moment and that is where the PEC project can help.”

There are some 10 third-sector organisations, plus others, contracted to do additional work on the project, including ASC and the Recovery Community, Dial-a-Journey, Forth Valley College, All Cleaned Up CIC, Ceteris and Resilience Learning Partnership.

The Resilience Learning Partnership will bring its highly respected TIER programme and Ceteris will be providing an enterprise course for those looking for business skills.

The programme also includes a free pilot which will see college students and PEC participants provided with bus journeys to the Stirling and Falkirk campuses.

Free transport will be provided to work placements as well and those taking part will be supported by £10 a week over 10 weeks of the programme.

Jean Hamilton, chair of CERT, added: “We want this programme to be different – we will not be doing CVs or job search – there are existing organisations that can provide that support, we want to take people who may not be ready or have family and personal issues that are stopping them even considering work or volunteering, but want to take a step on a longer journey to their dream – whatever that might be.

“We hope to be able to help people with disabilities, trauma and family commitments take part and improve their health and wellbeing on the way to a pathway they choose.”

The programme is open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 67 who is currently economically inactive but would like to take a step toward improved health, wellbeing and work.

Call Mark O’Hare, project manager at CERT, on 07471734951 or email hello@pec.scot – college bus timetables are available at pec.scot and need to be booked via Dial-a-Journey.