From education to employment

“Welsh Government funding was essential in helping me secure a stable job to support my new family”


A 24-year-old man from Cwmfelinfach has credited Welsh Government employment support and funding for helping him kickstart his dream career, after being made redundant shortly before the birth of his first child.

Luke, now an Electrician’s Mate at Diack Ltd, benefitted from the ReAct+ programme, which offers those who are recently unemployed or facing redundancy personalised support tailored to their individual needs.

The help could not have come at a better time for Luke, after his job at a Covid-19 test centre was coming to an end, and his daughter’s due date just months away.

He said: “I worked for a small IT company but unfortunately the business went under and I was made redundant for the second time in my career.

“I lost my love for the industry a little and knew I wanted a hands-on job that offered stability for me and my new family, which is when I set my sights on becoming an electrician.”

Luke began researching the different routes to get into the industry and came across Working Wales, a free careers advice service that can help people get into work.

Luke met with a Working Wales adviser to discuss his career goals and they started developing a package of support that would help him get back into employment including funding for a training course.

He said: “After a few months of exploring different options, I was eventually offered a place on all of the essential training courses I needed, including my manual handling, and asbestos awareness.

“The ReAct+ funding paid for the entirety of my course fees and travel expenses, so I didn’t have to worry about finding the money myself as a new dad.

“I was also so grateful to have ongoing support from Working Wales throughout the process; they were there for me through all the highs and lows.

“It means so much to know you have a coach and mentor to support your whole job search journey and offer practical advice like interview preparation.”

Luke has now been at Diack Ltd for almost three months and is proud of himself for taking the leap to a new industry.

He added: “I’m thoroughly enjoying my job at Diack, and no day is ever the same. My confidence has grown so much in the three months I’ve worked here.

“I’ve been given lots of responsibility already and it’s great to see how quickly I’m developing through learning on the job.”

He also has some strong advice for those who are out of work, or under formal notice of redundancy.

“My one piece of advice for anyone who’s worried about their future after being made redundant would be to give Working Wales a call and find out about all of the support they can offer you. They will personalise their support to your specific needs, whatever role or industry you want to go into.

“The support they offered me has been invaluable, their knowledge and expertise in how to navigate a career change, apply for jobs, and write a CV were the main reasons I was able to secure my training and current role.

“Without the ReAct+ funding and support, I wouldn’t have been able to take the first steps towards my goal of becoming a qualified electrician and securing a stable job to support my family.”

ReAct+ supports those who are out of work or under a notice of redundancy by providing them with a free personalised package of employment support that could include advice, or funding for training.

Individuals facing additional barriers to employment or training may also be eligible for a Personal Development Support Grant of up to £500, alongside one to one mentoring and coaching.

Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said:

“I’m proud that in Wales we offer people flexible support to help get back into work or pursue new careers – whatever unique challenges they may be facing.

“The ReAct+ programme offers people a personalised employment support package that is built around their individual needs and circumstances to help them find employment.

“From personal development and mentorship to funding for training, the ReAct+ programme offers employment support to help people build their own secure and stable future”.

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