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New campaign presses for gender equality at work; in association with publicjobswales.co.uk.

Byline: By SARA THOMAS

WOMEN looking to achieve their full potential and advance their careers are being urged to take part in a new project aimed at tackling the difficulties they can face in progressing in the workforce.

Chwarae Teg's Agile Nation project will help women to achieve their full potential by promoting gender equality in employment and supporting career advancement.

Over 2,800 women in Convergence areas are being sought to take part in the Agile Nation project which, through training and mentoring, will help them progress their careers and secure higher-skilled employment opportunities.

A training allowance scheme will also be available for women with job specific training needs.

The pounds 12.5m project, funded by the European Social Fund and the Welsh Assembly Government, was launched by Sound of Music Star Connie Fisher on Tuesday.

The former telesales worker who rose to fame in a BBC One talent contest to secure the role of Maria in the West End musical The Sound of Music, took part in a webcast between The Quay Hotel in Deganwy and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff to highlight how technology can be harnessed to enable businesses and women across Wales to reap the many benefits of flexible working.

Agile Nation will also help over 600 employers with advice and guidance on equality and diversity issues, raising awareness of the business benefits of flexible working, and will promote and educate employers around work life balance issues.

I am a working woman. How can Agile Nation benefit my career?

Taking part in Agile Nation will help you gain qualifications and progress into more senior and fulfilling positions, maximising your potential and providing new career opportunities.

The project aims to have a sustained, positive impact on the life of those that take part.

I am an employer. What are the benefits of getting involved?

Businesses risk losing out on skilled and experienced staff as a result of inflexible working practices.

Finding innovative ways to attract and retain a skilled and diverse workforce will go a long way in creating a workforce geared up for success, particularly in the current economic climate.

Taking part in Agile Nation will introduce beneficial new ways of working that will have a long-lasting impact on the bottom line by contributing to the retention of talent - something that is crucial to a successful business.

I am a woman who would like to get involved in the project. Am I eligible?

Women who live or work in any of the Convergence areas which, by local authority, are Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Torfaen are eligible.

I am an employer looking to benefit from Agile Nation. Am I eligible?

Employers from all sectors who have an office in any of the Convergence areas listed above are eligible to be part of Agile Nation.

How do I apply to take part?

Contact Chwarae Teg on 029 20478900.

Where can I find out more?

For more information please log onto www.chwaraeteg.com/agilenation.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 12, 2009
Words:519
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