Clwyd South Assembly Member Ken Skates spent an afternoon with previously unemployed young people who found work through a flagship Welsh Government scheme.
Mr Skates, the Labour AM for Clwyd South, met Yendl Barwise, Alex Falkingham, Sian Medi Davies, Sam Massey and David Thompson at Plas Newydd, Llangollen, on Thursday (July 31).
The five graduates all found placements with Denbighshire County Council’s countryside services team through Jobs Growth Wales (JGW), which has now helped more than 11,300 people aged 16 to 24-year-olds into work across the country – including at least 418 in Denbighshire and 408 more in Wrexham.
The Welsh Labour scheme reimburses the cost of employing 16- to 24-year-olds for the first six months, and has won the praise of employers throughout Wales.
David Shiel, Senior Countryside Officer with Denbighshire County Council, said: “Jobs Growth Wales is fantastic for us because we get a good range of talent coming in, and we try to give them as broad an array of experience as possible to help them find work in the future.
“This is the second intake of Jobs Growth Wales employees we’ve had, and we’ve been able to help all the previous ones find work within the environmental sector after they left us. The problem a lot of young people have is finding work without any experience, so Jobs Growth Wales helps them as well as us. It’s win-win.”
Mr Skates, who is also the Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, said: “Jobs Growth Wales has filled 735 job opportunities in the last month alone. The latest figures show success rates for the programme continuing strongly, with 82% of young people working in the private sector progressing into employment or further learning after completing their six-month Jobs Growth Wales opportunities.
“It is fantastic news for the area that so many young people are seeing the benefit of Jobs Growth Wales. The scheme, which is fast becoming the envy of Europe, not only provides career opportunities, it also enables young people to gain good quality work experience and the essential skills employers look for, supporting their progression into sustained employment and their long-term prospects.
“Our absolute priority in these tough times is to stand up for the people of Wales, creating jobs and enabling growth. The success of this programme so far proves we’re doing just that. I am immensely proud of what we’ve achieved and I am proud that the Welsh Labour Government is determined to leave nobody behind.”