£1m alcohol and drug jobs pilot

A NEW £1 million pilot scheme has been launched to help 30 young Inverclyde men with alcohol or drug dependencies turn their lives around by getting them into work.

Inverclyde Council and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) have developed an innovative programme which will target men aged 20-30 in Greenock and Port Glasgow town centres.

The pilot scheme is aimed at those who are unemployed and have difficulties with alcohol and drugs, as well as mental health issues, to offer tailored support to help them overcome their dependencies and get them ready to work with a year’s paid employment on offer with the local authority.

The programme will initially be rolled out in Greenock town centre – statistically Inverclyde’s most deprived area – with Port Glasgow to follow and will also see three dedicated outreach workers taken on to support the young men taking part.

Funding of just over £1m is being made available by the council and the Inverclyde Integration Joint Board, which oversees health and social care functions carried out by the local authority and HSCP. 

Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “It’s been well-documented that we have high rates of deprivation and alcohol and drug dependency and we must act now to try and lift people out of poverty and prevent them turning to alcohol and drugs.

“While we can’t reverse the trend alone, we are working hard behind the scenes to enhance existing support and develop new ways to support some of our most vulnerable residents and this employability scheme is a bold and innovative example of that.

“This scheme will provide targeted support for young men in our communities to get their lives back on track and offer them hope for the future through a year’s paid employment.

“Improving life chances is crucial to lifting people out of poverty and preventing them from turning to alcohol and drugs.”

Data shows that 70 per cent of the local population who access alcohol and drug support services are male and many also have mental health issues.

Further analysis found that those in the 20-30 age group in particular face complex barriers to employment, often have mental health and addiction issues, and are involved in crime.

However, many who access support services do not engage fully due to the situations they find themselves in.

The employment pilots will run for two years and will be supported by three outreach support workers who will be tasked with engaging with individuals involved, gaining their trust and providing intensive activities to support their recovery and with a view to making them ready for work after year one when a 12-month contract will be on offer.

Councillor Robert Moran, Inverclyde’s health and social care convener, said: “We’ve spoken at great length about the problems we face locally with deprivation and addiction but it’s time to take radical action to try and turn the tide and improve health and employment outcomes for residents, particularly our young people.

“This is a fantastic initiative that can deliver real change and give young men in Greenock and Port Glasgow a different, positive pathway to follow.

“It will also give hope to others out there who are struggling for whatever reason and show that there is help available and encourage them to seek support.”

For more information about alcohol and drugs support services, visit the Inverclyde Alcohol and Drugs Partnership website at www.inverclydeadp.org.uk or phone 01475 715353.

To find out about employment opportunities within council/HSCP log on to visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk/councils/inverclyde-council/jobs and look out for #InverclydeWorks on social media.