Page last updated at 00:40 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Scheme for jobless faces cash cut

Deap has helped thousands of people in Dundee back into work

An organisation that helps the unemployed in Dundee find work is facing a 50% funding cut, putting staff in fear of their own jobs.

The Dundee Employment and Aftercare Project (Deap) runs 13 "job shops" in the city and has helped thousands of people back into employment.

It will lose the money it receives from the Fairer Scotland Fund in March.

The Dundee Partnership, which runs the fund for the city, said Deap did not meet the "necessary funding criteria".

A spokesman for the partnership said it was up to organisations to bid for money every year.

"Deap appealed against the decision but the Dundee Partnership decided to reject their appeal as it felt the project did not meet the necessary funding criteria," he said.

"One of the reasons that the cuts had to be made was that there was insufficient long-term funding to continue projects which it had previously funded."

The spokesman said there were other schemes in Dundee that helped people back to work.

We've helped people who haven't worked for many years and those who are on incapacity benefit. Some haven't worked for 20 years
Louise Forbes, Deap

Deap, which has been running for 11 years, also receives money from the Big Lottery Fund and One European Social Fund.

But it said £170,000 - over half its budget - comes from the Fairer Scotland Fund through the Dundee Partnership.

The not-for-profit organisation helps the unemployed with CVs, interview techniques and application forms.

Deap's business development manager Louise Forbes said: "We've managed to get 1,435 people into work in the past 18 months.

"We've helped people who haven't worked for many years and those who are on incapacity benefit. Some haven't worked for 20 years."

Ms Forbes said that because of the financial situation, Deap was also advising an increasing amount of people who were out of work for the first time in their lives.

The project currently has 2,500 clients.

Ms Forbes said they had not been given a clear reason why Deap, which has 20 staff, was losing the money.

"Every other year we have met the necessary funding criteria, and we've performed better this year," she said.

Ms Forbes said almost two-thirds of those who found work again through the Dundee employability partnership were helped by Deap.

"We're the only organisation in Dundee getting unemployed people back into work at this volume and we will struggle to offer a service without this funding."

"We are now all thinking for our own jobs," she said.

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