CLWYD South AM Ken Skates has welcomed new Welsh Government figures which show hundreds of young people across Wrexham and Denbighshire have benefited from its flagship Jobs Growth Wales programme.
The Welsh Labour scheme – which reimburses the cost of employing 16- to 24-year-olds for the first six months – recently reached its second anniversary, and the latest data shows that more than 80% of participants go on to take up jobs, apprenticeships or further training opportunities.
Labour AM Mr Skates said: “The most up-to-date figures show that Jobs Growth Wales has created 401 opportunities for young people in Wrexham, with 340 of these roles being filled – an amazing success rate of 85%. Similarly, in Denbighshire, 444 jobs have been created and 369 – more than 83% – have been taken up.
Mr Skates, the Welsh Government’s deputy minister for skills and technology, added: “It is fantastic news for the area that so many young people are seeing the benefit of Jobs Growth Wales.”
Mr Skates also welcomed the introduction of the Youth Guarantee, which is the offer, acceptance and commencement of a suitable place in education or training for a young person making the first-time transition from compulsory education at 16.
Across Wales, Jobs Growth Wales (JGW) has exceeded its targets by creating well over 12,000 opportunities and getting more than 9,700 who were previously unemployed into those roles. On top of the jobs created, 220 young entrepreneurs across Wales have been supported by JGW bursaries.
Mr Skates added: “Jobs Growth Wales 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.
“The success of the programme to date has meant that we have already announced a further £12.5m in the Welsh Government’s budget to extend it for a fourth year – creating more than 4,000 extra opportunities.
“The Welsh Government could not stand back and accept that young people often experience long spells of unemployment simply because they have no work experience – a key factor when employers are looking to recruit. That is why we introduced the programme.
“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.”