Flagship youth employment programme continues to exceed targets

Published on Friday, 26 July 2013 10:55
Written by Vicki Mitchem

Figures showing that the Welsh Government's EU-backed Jobs Growth Wales programme has outstripped its initial targets have been welcomed by Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates.

Launched in April 2012, the original target for Jobs Growth Wales was to create 4,000 opportunities each year for three years. Figures released by the Welsh Government today show that in the period up to 12th July, 7,876 job opportunities have been created, with 5,731 young people filling these jobs.

Jobs Growth Wales reimburses the cost of employing young people for the first six months to encourage firms to offer young people sustained employment, including apprenticeships. It is part-funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

The programme is divided into four strands: the private sector strand, the third sector strand, the graduate strand and the self-employment strand, which helps young people to set up their own business.

Data from the programme's largest strand, the private sector strand, shows 76 percent of those who completed a six month opportunity are now working, in an apprenticeship or learning.

Those who have left the scheme early and have not gone into employment or education account for only 8 per cent of the 5,731 job opportunities to date.

The Deputy Minister said:

"The facts and figures speak for themselves: Jobs Growth Wales is a success story.

"Reducing youth unemployment is a key priority for the Welsh Government and this flagship programme is an example of how we are using European funding to make a real and positive difference to a young person's life.

"As we have always said, one of the key measures of success of the programme is how many opportunities are sustained beyond the 6 month period.

"A 76 per cent success rate is therefore very encouraging to see, particularly when so many of these young people stay with the same employer.

"Of course, as with any of our programmes, we always look to see where we can make improvements and ensure the best possible outcome for our young people.

"Jobs Growth Wales is a successful programme, but I want to make sure that it continues to deliver for all our young people as we look towards years two and three."

Source: Welsh Government

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