Blaenau Gwent – Abertillery Work Club
Blaenau Gwent is an area that suffers from high unemployment and low literacy among its adult working age population – in February 2010, around 8.2 per cent of the working age population in Blaenau Gwent were claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. The equivalent figure for Wales was 4.6 per cent. Also, in 2008, around 65 per cent of working age adults were in employment compared with 71 per cent in Wales. Other worrying statistics show that in 2007, an estimated 20 per cent of working age adults in Blaenau Gwent had no qualifications – this compares with 15 per cent in Wales. Blaenau Gwent is also the most digitally excluded local authority in Wales.
From conversations that were held with the relevant customers, there seemed to be little or no support that was readily available to them. Library staff were able to assist with updating and creating CVs and were able to signpost customers to websites where they could conduct job searches, it was apparent that a wider network of support would be very beneficial to people.
One of the most difficult tasks for a marketer is to effect a change in behaviour of a target audience – especially change perceptions of products and or services. This entry has clearly achieved this and has gone on to become an important feature for the community. Anecdotally it is interesting to see history repeating itself in the valleys of South Wales – several generations ago my great grandfather self educated him-self by and through the development of libraries and through education found employment – such are the conditions today. So a good clear strategy and objectives (but they could have been SMART) excellent partnering with local organisations and other service providers and some unexpected but valuable outcomes. Well done my forbears would be proud of you.