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Getting back to work – the Growth Deal project helping hundreds rediscover work

A pan-Ayrshire project that is helping people back into employment has set itself an ambitious target for the coming months.

The Working for a Healthy Economy initiative was launched in May 2021to support residents who cannot contribute to the economy fully due to poor health.

Teaming up with NHS Salus, Working for a Healthy Economy provides individuals immediate contact with a health professional who can assess their circumstances to better manage any new/existing health conditions.

In its first year – up to 30 September 2022 – the programme helped 514 people and it is hoped that by this September 770 will be supported.

The programme is expecting to support 192 unemployed people to secure sustainable employment.

This support is fully funded by the Ayrshire Growth Deal with no charge to individuals or local businesses.  Working for a Healthy Economy can support people who are in employment and also people who are unemployed.

NHS Salus have been delivering health support to unemployed North Ayrshire residents since 2016, but within the ‘Working for a Healthy Economy’ project they will also cater for employed people with health issues and support employers.

Over the next five years, the AGD team hope to support around 7,500 Ayrshire residents. By offering an integrated Ayrshire health & employability support service, 4629 unemployed individuals and 2871 employees with the aim of at least 25% securing sustainable employment and at least 85% retaining/safeguarding employment.

Councillor Martin Dowey, Leader of South Ayrshire Council and chair of the Joint Committee, said: “The Working for a Healthy Economy project recognises the importance of public health and the need for a healthy and productive workforce.

“Ayrshire needs to reduce the number of residents who cannot contribute to the economy fully due to poor health. The links between health and economy are well evidenced and health was assessed as the most significant barrier to Inclusive Growth in Ayrshire.

“We are delighted with the progress made over the last year but are striving to reach out to as many people as possible.

“This is a criteria-free service and not restrictive in any way. The Working for a Healthy Economy team are hugely experienced and understanding and will provide the necessary support and do everything they can to help people find a way back into work or a way of sustaining current employment.”

To find out more call free on 0808 196 3919

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About Ayrshire Growth Deal

Ayrshire Growth Deal has a number of priorities, these are: Aerospace and Space, Economic Infrastructure, Tourism and Energy, Circular Economy and Environment.

The major projects include:

• £80 million investment that will position Ayrshire as one of the UK’s leading centres of Aerospace and Space activity

• £9 million investment into transformational HALO regeneration project in Kilmarnock

• £23.5 million to create the Ayrshire Manufacturing Investment Corridor (AMIC)

• £16 million Ayrshire Engineering Park will provide expansion and development of Moorfield industrial Park   in Kilmarnock, creating serviced and high-quality business space

• £21 million investment into the i3 area of Irvine building on current Life Science businesses on site

• £14 million tourism investment at Irvine Harbourside and Ardeer peninsula

• £9.5 million in Marine Tourism, which will focus on securing infrastructure that supports key components, such as sailing and boating, marine leisure, and recreation

• £24.5 million National Energy Research Demonstrator Project (NERD)

• £18 million for the Centre for Research into Low Carbon Energy and Circular Economy (CECE) at the Hunterston Strategic West Scotland Industrial Hub

• £10.5 million for a new International Marine Science and Environmental Centre (IMSE) based at Ardrossan

• £11 million for a subsea fibre optic cable to have its landing point in Irvine

• £8.5 million for a skills and inclusion programme

• £3 million Community Wealth Building project

• £3 million in digital connectivity

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