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Plaid Cymru highlights ‘scandalous’ rise in long-term young unemployment

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Targeted support needed for the ‘lost generation’ failed by Welsh Government

The Party of Wales has highlighted a staggering rise in the number of long-term young unemployed in Wales and has indicated that it will campaign for more targeted support for young people through the European Jobs Guarantee Fund.

Figures highlighted by the party’s Shadow Minister for Skills Simon Thomas show that the number of long-term young unemployed in Wales has quadrupled under this government, rising from 1,200 in 2011 to 5,200.

Simon Thomas questioned the effectiveness of the government’s Jobs Growth Wales scheme and said it while had a questionable success rate of less than fifty per cent, it also fails to help hard-to-reach individuals.

The Party of Wales Shadow Minister for Skills Simon Thomas said:

“Youth unemployment has become the real story of the recession in Wales, but as the economy struggles back into life it is clear that there is a group of young people who are being left behind. These are the long-term youth unemployed and under this government, the number of them has quadrupled.

“This is the group of people who, if we do not give them the help and training to get into work now, will be unable to find work in the future, provide for themselves and families and live a productive life.

“This is the ‘lost generation’ that we have warned about and there isn’t sufficient support out there for them.

“While the Welsh Government’s much-lauded Jobs Growth Wales scheme aims to find work for the young unemployed, the figures show that its success is very questionable.

“The initial targets were very low, making success almost inevitable. And fewer than half of those who begin the six month programme complete and find employment at the end.

“What worries me most however, is that this scheme is targeting the employable – not those who are hard to reach and hard to employ.

“That’s why Plaid Cymru wants to see the European Youth Jobs Guarantee Fund available for Wales, and for this money to be focused on those hardest to reach cases, because they will require the most effort to ensure that they remain part of our communities here in Wales.”

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