The Curiad Calon Cymru (CCC) Partnership came about when AWEMA mooted two focus group workshops to invite 40 organisations from the academic, voluntary and public sectors to attend.
A potential partner was engaged to facilitate the focus groups, in which the organisations present were asked to identify the issues that they face in their work with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities. All those issues were then classified under broad headings - women, isolation, skills conversion, language, young people/offenders, men in employment etc. - which dictated the break-up groups within the workshop.
The attendees then dispersed into the various break-up groups relevant to their work to come up with solutions.
At the end of the two workshops, the potential partner expanded on the needs identified and the solutions suggested at the Focus Groups by converting them into clusters: women, isolated households, economic migrants/refugees, empowering communities and progressing in employment. All the cluster information (including cross-cutting clusters like training, mentoring and research) was converted into a full-blown Development Partnership Agreement (DPA) under the EQUAL Employability Pillar: Theme B 'Tackling Racism & Xenophobia in the Labour Market'.
The workshops also marked the founding of the CCC partnership, comprising 20 core self-selecting partners who were interested in delivering on any one of the five clusters of work, and five wider partners from community groups.
The AWEMA CEO visited all the core partners to help them work on their detailed action plans and budgets as part of the DPA application process.
Following a financial appraisal by the WEFO Team, it was pointed out that we needed a more robust financial system, and a finance manager was recruited to address the gap in our financial capacity. His appointment helped to speed up the questions raised by the financial appraisal team, resulting in the final approval of the project.
The project officially started in April 2006, with over 30 new staff recruited across the partnership.
- To improve the employment prospects of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people, including migrants, through combating racism and xenophobia in Welsh society.
The leading principle is equality of opportunity and embracing diversity by fighting discrimination through empowerment. It has achieved this through activities designed to address the barriers to employment faced by BME people so that they are able to gain sustainable employment and progress along their chosen career path.
- To deliver focused activities to BME people to empower them to gain and retain sustained employment and make an active contribution to the Welsh economy.
- To empower community organisations to overcome inequalities.
- To improve links between community organisations, the voluntary sector and mainstream public/private providers by promoting greater collaboration.
- To fill gaps in the BME labour market intelligence to inform and enhance provision.
The specific strategic objectives of CCC Partnership were to:
- improve the situation of BME women in the labour market
- support the inclusion of dispersed European economic migrants, refugees and contract workers
- combat the isolation of isolated households and individuals
- enable BME people to gain and progress in employment
- build the capacity of BME community groups.
- The project has an all-Wales focus and target groups are from BME individuals and communities, including women, people with disabilities, young and older workers, economic migrants, refugees and those facing social exclusion e.g through isolation.