More than 5,000 quality apprenticeships will be created in Wales thanks to Plaid Cymru.
Budget demands by Plaid Cymru will now ensure £40m will be made available over the next two years to create 5,650 apprenticeship places. Of those apprenticeships, 2,650 will be at Level 4 and above.
Details, which will be unveiled in the Siambr during plenary today, include a £500 cash incentive to small businesses to counter the costs associated with recruiting apprenticeships. The initiative is specifically targeted at 16-24 year-olds and will include capacity to allow apprenticeships to undergo their training through the medium of Welsh.
Simon Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru Assembly spokesperson on Education Skills and the Welsh Language, said: "This deal is great news for the Welsh economy and small business sector. It is also a great example of Plaid Cymru delivering on a promise to put the economy at the top of the priority list.
"We have made it clear during the last 12 months that turning around the Welsh economy is our primary objective and this is exemplified in the deal we have struck with the Welsh Government.
"Our budget negotiations have paved the way for more than 5,000 highly skilled apprenticeships to be created in Wales which are badly needed.
"We all know that youth unemployment in Wales makes for grim reading. Our budget deal will now allow a significant number of young people in Wales to have a brighter future.
"Since these apprenticeships are at a high level, the scheme will help to close the skills gap that exists between us and other nations.
"We will also benefit the local economy with this new initiative since it is tailored to helping small businesses take on apprenticeships. The one-off £500 payment to small and micro business to cover the recruitment costs associated with taking on an apprentice will provide more incentive for employers to participate.
"The small business sector is extremely important to the Welsh economy. Unfortunately this sector has been squeezed in a number of ways and from a number of directions over recent years so it is great to be able to deliver some good news for it."
He added: "As Plaid Cymru spokesperson on the Welsh language, it is also pleasing to see there will be provision for apprentices to work through the medium of Welsh. With the recent Census results we were given a reminder, not that it was necessary, that more needs to be done to protect and strengthen the Welsh language.
"Allowing first-language Welsh people the chance to train as an apprentice in the language they are more comfortable with is a small but important step towards making Welsh language communities more viable.
"This sort of provision, which does not exclude but includes the Welsh language, is what we need more of in future."