A JOB scheme which helps put unemployed parents back into work has been saved after funding was to be slashed.

In January, the Xcite for Parents programme, run by Harrow Council, was due to close after the Mayor’s London Development Agency (LDA) abolished the pilot scheme and its funding.

The scheme has helped more than 80 parents get back into work and has now due to its success has received funding from the European Programme, also funded by the LDA.

The scheme will continue for at least another six months and is will be available to jobless parents and other long-term unemployed people.

Diana Lewis, 42, a mum of four from Stanmore Park, joined the Xcite programme last year after seven-and-a-half years out of work, following the birth of her third child.

After attending a recruitment event last year, she secured a job as a community care worker and started in January.

She said: “It’s fabulous that Xcite will be carrying on. I’m thrilled for the project and for the people who are going to be using it to get back out to work and get their confidence and self-esteem back.

“It’s great that the project is now open to everyone. My son is 18 and looking for work so I’ll be encouraging him to get along to Xcite too.

“For me, getting the job was so exciting and I couldn’t wait to start. I was so looking forward to getting back out there as I love meeting people and interacting with them.

“I have already formed a lot of friendships with the people I care for and knowing that they trust and respect me is really rewarding.”

The programme has been renamed the Xcite Employment Project and will support residents to find employment through weekly work clubs. They consist of CV writing sessions, guidance on job applications, interviews, and job hunting, as well as motivational training.

Council leader, Councillor Bill Stephenson, said: “The Xcite scheme has made a real difference to the lives of scores of residents, supporting them to get back on their feet and into work, often after years of unemployment.

“I’m delighted that Harrow Council can continue this work and even extend its reach to help those residents who want to find work but are struggling in such a tough job market. We will do our damnedest to find yet more funding to continue and hopefully enhance the scheme.

“The longer you try to find a job the harder it can become, as your skills get rusty and your confidence dips. Xcite provides the support, motivation and guidance that people need, helping them to help themselves.”

Most of the workshops will run from the Harrow Civic Centre with additional groups meeting at The Beacon Centre, in Rayners Lane, and Savoy Community Centre, in North Harrow.