Clegg dropped in to see PreFab Clothing, a textile recycling and reuse initative operated by Cardiff YMCA Housing Association and remarked how small scale initiatives such as this provide a “big clue” as to what society needs to do to get young people back into employment.

The project is run by YMCA HA staff, volunteers and work experience placements arranged by Cylch’s training arm, Cylch Quality Learning (CQL). Over the past year CQL has been working closely with the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action to provide work experience placements for unemployed 18-25 year olds in Wales.

Since it was founded in November 2010, CQL has placed 90 young people across Cardiff, Newport and the Vale and over 285 throughout Wales. The development of new Sustainable Resource Management Apprenticeships has provided an opportunity for some to further their ambitions within the sector.

Cylch members, such as PreFab, are responsible for diverting around 1,000 tonnes of unwanted textiles from landfill each year. CQL contracts manager Alex Laurie said: “Our programme supports Cylch’s aspiration of helping people to make a positive difference to their lives and their communities through work, skills and training.

“As part of the wider social enterprise sector we are delighted to see community reuse and recycling getting the recognition it deserves.”

YMCA HA’s project manager Sian Rogers added: “It has been great seeing the trainee’s abilities, confidence and commitment grow during their time here. Nick Clegg’s visit has given a real boost to all those who have worked so hard to make this project a success.”

Maxine Perella

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