UNEMPLOYED people in part of Bradford could soon be a step nearer to landing a job thanks to a new walking scheme that begins next month.

The project in Lidget Green will help with both job-finding skills and employability skills and aims to boost self-confidence through organised local walks.

Community organisation Lidget Green Walking and Outdoor Club will take out-of-work people over the age of 19 on the confidence-building walks as part of the project, which is being supported by Bradford Council. It aims to help participants prepare better CVs, brush up their job skills and build their self confidence.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, chairman of Bradford South Area Committee, said: "Regular walking has been shown to improve a person’s health, reduce stress and is a great way to meet new people and improve your social skills – which all leads to more confidence.

"We’ve negotiated with Lidget Green Walking club which has also agreed to give job-seekers free access to their computers. This means that people can prepare CVs and get help making online job searches, without having to travel to Jobcentre Plus in central Bradford. We have arranged some training support so people will not feel they are on their own.”

Mazhar Ellahi, Lidget Green Walking leader, said: "When people don’t have a job they may become socially isolated and lose the desire to take responsibility for their own lives. The walks I lead get people out of the house and inspire the habit of turning up on time for something.

"Before every walk I encourage the group to pay attention to my checklist of potential hazards, and eventually some may take that responsibility themselves or even lead a walk of their own.”

Gareth Petty, qualified walk leader and computer skills mentor, said: "The heritage walks I am leading will look at some local history, taking in the area’s three beautiful parks on the way.

"I will be chatting to the group to find out what kind of help they need on the computer – whether that’s setting up an email account, searching the internet or writing a CV.”

Funding for the project has been secured from the European Social Fund, the Skills Funding Agency supported by Humber Learning Consortium and Your Consortium.

The six month programme will start on Tuesday, August 19, with each person expected to benefit from up to 26 hours of support.

The CV and job skills sessions will take place weekly on Tuesday mornings, and the more technical aspect of looking for jobs online will be led on Thursday mornings. All sessions are based at 40 Lidget Place.

For further information contact Gareth Petty on 07472 253 213 or Mazhar Ellahi on 0742 946 8946.