The £6.8m ADTRAC programme, which is already running in the other five counties of North Wales, will provide tailored employability and emotional wellbeing support to 16-24 year olds in Gwynedd who face barriers to engaging with education and entering the world of work.
Funded through the European Social Fund, the ADTRAC programme is delivered by Grŵp Llandrillo Menai with support from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and local councils.
It has been developed in response to concerns about the lack of support available to young people to address mild to moderate mental health problems which can prevent them from engaging in education, training or employment.
The project is being supported by Elin Sanderson, an ADTRAC Senior Wellbeing Practitioner with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
She said: “Many mild to moderate mental health conditions are accelerated during adolescent age, and if left untreated, can have a detrimental long term impact. These conditions are often exacerbated when linked to unemployment and other welfare issues.
“The mental health and wellbeing element of ADTRAC will provide support to young people where their emotional health and mental wellbeing may be affecting attainment and employability.
“Our aim is to better equip young people to deal with these concerns, both now and in the future. The goal is not only to support participants into either employment, education or training, but also to teach them skills they can employ throughout their lifetime, including being part of a workforce.”
As well as providing young people with support to improve their emotional wellbeing, the ADTRAC programme can provide intensive and individualised employability support to ease the journey into education, employment or training.
The scheme’s employability pathway considers the needs of the young person in relation to their strengths, barriers to progression, emotional and social skills, and employability skills.
The ADTRAC programme is already making an impact for young people in Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy and Anglesey, where it was launched earlier this year.
Among those who are benefitting is Dylan, who was feeling demotivated and lacking self-confidence after finding it difficult to find employment after completing a carpentry course in college.
Dylan said: “I would recommend that anyone who is in the same position as me to receive ADTRAC support because it has helped me a lot. The support helped me to find work. I now know how to put together a CV and how to prepare for an interview.
“The chat with the Mental Health Practitioner helped me a lot because afterwards I felt better in myself. I knew what I needed to do to make myself happy and it gave me more confidence and motivation. Personally it felt good to let all the negative stuff out.”