AM welcomes Jobs Growth Wales continued success

Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones, has welcomed the latest Jobs Growth Wales figures, showing that the Welsh Labour Government’s EU-backed youth employment programme, Jobs Growth Wales, has helped 200 young people to set up their own business.

Monthly figures for Jobs Growth Wales, which is part funded by the European Social Fund, show that the programme has now created 10,594 job opportunities with 8,354 young people filling these jobs.

Mrs Jones said: “Welsh Labour’s flagship youth unemployment strategy is delivering for young people right across Wales. In contrast with the Tories decision to scrap the Future Jobs Fund, this shows that we are committed to getting our young people into the workplace and out of the dole queue.

“While long-term youth employment remains high, the level in Wales is dropping and this is very welcome news. The Tories’ lassiez-faire attitude to tackling unemployment in England is failing young people. In Wales, our proactive approach is far exceeding the targets and is a real success story.

A breakdown of the figures show the self-employment strand of the programme, the young entrepreneur bursary, has already helped to create 200 entrepreneurship start-ups since it began in April 2012. This is well ahead of the initial target for the strand which was to create 200 jobs by the end of March this year.

The young entrepreneur bursary provides up to £6,000 for applicants aged 16-24 and is paid over a four month period.

The figures released also reveal the extent of the programme’s success in helping young people into employment once their six month opportunity comes to an end.

In the programme’s private sector strand, 80% of young people progressed into sustained employment, an apprenticeship or further learning upon completing a six month opportunity. This compares to an initial target of 70%.

Latest data for the programme’s graduate strand shows that very few young people who took part– just 1% – became unemployed after they completed their six month opportunity.

For Jobs Growth Wales as a whole, the number of young people who have progressed onto an apprenticeship after completing their opportunity has now reached 25% – again, exceeding all expectations.