A training scheme designed to get prostitutes
off Doncaster’s streets and into new jobs may be expanded and repeated
elsewhere after a successful pilot programme.
Reed in Partnership (part of the Reed recruitment and
training group) and Streetreach (the prostitute support organisation) have
helped 30 prostitutes find work as beauticians, hairdressers, sales assistants
and holiday camp reps.
The scheme is backed by the Department of Work and Pensions
and run in conjunction with South Yorkshire Police’s Doncaster vice unit.
Managing director of Reed in Partnership, Chris Melvin, said
the organisation is talking with its partners, Streetreach and the police,
about getting further funding to expand the scheme in Doncaster and elsewhere.
Under the scheme Streetreach makes the initial contact and
helps those in need it to go through a drugs treatment programme.
Reed’s advisers help the women to rebuild their confidence,
discuss what kind of employment they would like, look at their training needs
and provide what is required. Assistance is then given with CVs, approaching
potential employers and helping the women secure jobs.
The project has a budget of around £200 per person to allow
the women to buy clothes and, if they wish, go to a gym to get fit.
Doncaster police said there are around 240 prostitutes
working the streets in the area. The problem is worsened by the growing
availability of heroin and crack cocaine which enters the UK through the nearby
port of Hull.