- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Mid and West Wales Assembly Members, Joyce Watson and Rebecca Evans, have congratulated the Welsh Government on recent figures which show that over 12,000 young people and businesses are taking advantage of the Jobs Growth Wales scheme.
Jobs Growth Wales is a Welsh Government scheme that reimburses local employers for employing young people aged 16-24 for their first six months in the job. Latest figures show that 80% of participants go on to take up jobs, apprenticeships or further training opportunities.
On top of the job opportunities created 220 young entrepreneurs across Wales have been supported by Jobs Growth Wales bursaries.
Welcoming the most recent figures, Mrs Evans said:
“With more than 2,000 jobs being created for young people across Mid and West Wales, and more than three quarters of those positions already being filled under the scheme, the Welsh Government is striving to combat the effects of the crippling austerity agenda being pushed by the UK coalition Government.”
Also welcoming the figures, fellow Mid and West Wales Labour AM, Joyce Watson, said:
“Jobs Growth Wales is a real Welsh success story – the most effective employment programme of its kind in western Europe.
“The Coalition Government in Westminster punishes jobseekers while failing to help them find work. We do things differently in Wales. Backed by European funding, Jobs Growth Wales helps 16 to 24 year-olds secure real jobs that pay a real wage.”
Speaking in a Government debate on Jobs Growth Wales yesterday Mrs Evans queried whether the scheme may be an example to parts of Europe which are experiencing high rates of youth unemployment.
Addressing the Deputy Minister for Skills, Ken Skates AM, Mrs Evans said “you have said that Jobs Growth Wales is Europe’s best youth employment scheme, and an example of Europe working for Wales. Are you having any discussions on a Europe-wide basis promoting our approach here in Wales given that youth unemployment is at an epidemic level in some parts of Europe?”
The Deputy Minister responded: “Jobs Growth Wales is enabling recruitment to take place faster and it is introducing young people into the world of work far sooner than they would otherwise experience. We can provide figures that show that this has an enormous benefit. For example, the latest research from the University of York suggests that the cost of being NEET early on in adulthood amounts to approximately £130,000. Compare that to the cost of Jobs Growth Wales per participant of £6,000 and you can appreciate just what good value for money Jobs Growth Wales offers. In terms of productivity, bearing in mind that 26% progress into apprenticeships, we also know that productivity is boosted by more than £200 per week via an apprenticeship for employers. So, again, this demonstrates the great value of Jobs Growth Wales to the economy.
“I have met with other Ministers from around Europe who are keen to learn more about Jobs Growth Wales as it demonstrates an effective way of dealing with the scourge of youth unemployment across our continent and the Western world.”