Green Growth Wales »The proposed Green Growth Wales fund aims to increase and accelerate projects to deliver green investment in Wales.Learn more »
New figures show a big rise in the number of affordable homes in Wales
The Welsh Government is on course to meet its ambitious target of providing 10,000 additional affordable homes by May 2016.
- International tourism to Wales increasing
- Regeneration is central to tackling poverty and encouraging economic growth, says Minister at national summit
- New figures show a big rise in the number of affordable homes in Wales
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- Review of the existing policy on disposal of higher activity radioactive waste
- Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013: new regulations
- National Training Framework on gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence
- Smoke-free private vehicles carrying children
- Extending access to intermediary services for descendants and relatives of adopted people
- Review of the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment Duty on Local Authorities
Section highlightHousing (Wales) Act 2014The Act introduces significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightWales for Africa grant
The Wales for Africa grant supports projects that build mutually beneficial links between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Draft Budget 2015-16 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2015-16 is £15·3bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
- Affordable housing provision
- Assembly Learning Grants (ALG) awarded to Welsh domiciled further education students
- Delayed transfers of care
- Evaluation of the Education Maintenance Allowance and Assembly Learning Grant
- Great Britain Day Visits Survey
- Great Britain Tourism Survey
- Jobs Growth Wales
- Reserves held by schools
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.View upcoming calendar »
Written Statement - Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan 2011 – 2015
The Welsh Assembly Government published its Action Plan for ‘Reducing the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training in Wales’ in April 2009.
Since its publication, the economic environment has changed dramatically. Although much good work has been done to deliver the action plan, we have, over the past year, taken a much broader view than concentrating specifically on young people once they reach 16 years old. We have looked holistically at the issues young people face and considered the journey of children and young people (from birth to 24 years old) who may become disengaged from learning and who are subsequently at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training- ‘NEET’ - in the future.
Evidence has shown that support in the earliest years of a child’s life is the most effective way of improving life chances, breaking the cycles that can exist for some of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, and providing a chance to grow, succeed and achieve. Each child or young person’s experience will be unique. For many of these young people disengagement from education, employment and training may be as a result of experiencing multiple barriers and problems throughout the course of their young lives. On the other hand, there will be those who unexpectedly and surprisingly become NEET perhaps owing to a single life event, for example bereavement in the family.
At 16, a young person who wishes to engage in learning or enter the labour market faces a different set of issues and barriers. As we know, the recession can have an adverse affect on opportunities for these young people (16-24 years old) and can often result in cycles of inactivity and the absence of sustained episodes of working. We therefore need to provide young people with opportunities to gain suitable skills to progress into sustainable employment.
Work is continuing to support children and young people to remain engaged. Preventative measures include the publication of the National Literacy Plan, which I announced last year, the Child Poverty Strategy and existing programmes such as Flying Start and the Foundation Phase. To support young people from 16 years old, we put in place a funding package of over forty nine million pounds, which I announced at the Welsh Assembly Government’s first Economic Summit of 2010. This will fund more training and education places. This included extra funding for Further Education, the continuation of the Pathways to Apprenticeships and the Young Recruits Programme and additional funds to keep Skill Build and ReAct working in Wales. As a result, we now have more young people staying in learning or training than ever before which shows that the measures are working. We are also keeping Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs) in Wales, unlike in England, to prevent young people from disengaging.
In addition, last year, Welsh Ministers signed a Labour Market Framework with the Department for Work and Pensions and established a Joint Employment Delivery Board to work at an operational level. It is important that we have a clear customer journey in Wales where our training and provision complements but does not duplicate or divert mainstream provision offered by DWP. We also need to ensure properly funded offers of support for young people here are at least equivalent to those offered in England and that we have innovative responses to the particular needs of our labour market.
Reflecting the high priority given to this agenda, last year I commissioned two groups to investigate the issue of youth engagement and employment in Wales. These were an external task and finish group, chaired by Martin Mansfield of Wales TUC which looked specifically at what more we should do to counter the effects of the recession on young people, and an internal operational group of officials which reported to me on what triggers children and young people to disengage from learning in the first place. Our Wales Employment and Skills Board (WESB ) also published a report, as part of the Board’s Second Annual Report ‘Moving Forward; Foundations for Growth’, which looked holistically at youth unemployment.
All three reports made a wide range of recommendations which has led to the development of the Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan.
The Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan outlines the Welsh Assembly Government’s approach to preventing children and young people from disengaging from learning and supporting them with entry to the labour market. Of course, the overall aim of the plan is the reduction of the number of young people who are, or at risk of becoming, not in education, employment or training in Wales. A new Unit has been established within the Welsh Assembly Government to drive this agenda forward.
We have already achieved a great deal. There is some excellent practice across Wales which has had a significant impact but this is a hugely challenging agenda which cuts across many of the Assembly Government portfolios. Despite a challenging settlement from the UK Government, we will prioritise skills training, honour our commitment to Pathways to Apprenticeships, and, continue to focus on our youth engagement and employment agenda.
We will need to be creative, innovative and inspirational in order to develop and deliver the support needed to enable young people to move towards and progress into sustainable employment. Over the next 4 years our aim is that the Youth Engagement and Employment Action achieves this and succeeds in reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training in Wales.