Council closes award-winning back to work scheme

A project which helped cut unemployment and earned an award for helping people back to work has been scrapped by a south London council.

The Eco-Actif scheme was set up by Sutton Council in 1996 to provide training and employment opportunities for people out of work. It included support for disabled people, single parents, drug abusers and ex-offenders.

Working in partnership with JobCentre Plus, the group helped unemployment in Sutton to fall below 2.6% and secure Beacon Council status for Removing Barriers to Work.

Despite this success, however, Sutton Council strategy committee decided to close down the service by the end of the 2005-2006 financial year because it was not financially viable.

Acting operations manager, Keith Bowman, said the scheme might continue as a private organisation outside of council control.

“We have done a feasibility study and cash-flow forecast, and it is looking quite promising,” he told the Surrey Comet.


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