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Urgent action needed to tackle youth unemployment

Plaid s

Plaid Cymru raises concerns that 53% of users are failed by ‘Jobs Growth Wales’

The Party of Wales has raised concerns after it emerged that 53% of Jobs Growth Wales users are failed by the programme. The job creation programme is intended to give young people work experience and help them find work, but figures acquired by Plaid Cymru reveal that the majority of users do not end up in employment.

Youth unemployment in Wales is currently 21.3%, which is well above the UK average. In some areas of Wales, such as in the Rhondda, youth unemployment soars to 41.4%. The number of young people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance for over a year has shot up by 420% since Labour formed the current Welsh Government in May 2011.

The Party of Wales has called for greater emphasis on skills training in order to give young people the skills employers want. In its budget deal with the Welsh Government, the party secured an investment of £40 million to create thousands of higher apprenticeships, which offer apprentices a higher level skillset.

At Party of Wales weekly press briefing in the Senedd this morning, Elin Jones AM said:

“Jobs Growth Wales is the Welsh Government’s flagship youth unemployment scheme, but the figures show that it is failing to deliver.

“After two years of the Jobs Growth Wales scheme, fewer than half of those enrolled have found employment, and fewer than a third have been employed by the same employer that took them on under the Jobs Growth Wales scheme.

“Youth unemployment is a crisis that has festered on Labour’s watch. It’s clear that the government should be doing much more if it is serious about averting the crisis. We need a coordinated approach that shows real outcomes. Clearly, depending on Jobs Growth Wales to deliver those results is not going to work.

“Plaid Cymru has expressed repeatedly the benefits of apprenticeships as a means of training young people in the skills that employers need. That’s why we secured £40 million in our budget deal with the Welsh Government to create thousands of higher apprenticeships – apprenticeships that offer a higher skillset. The government also needs to take serious action to boost the economy to stimulate job creation.

“The figures tell us that the government’s programme is not delivering – it’s time for some real action.”

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