Starting in April next year, Jobs Growth Wales will create 4,000 new job opportunities a year across Wales for unemployed young people, aged 16-24, for a 6-month period.
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said:
“Jobs Growth Wales is a flagship policy in our commitment to boost economic growth and jobs in Wales.
“Not only will this scheme create opportunities for unemployed young people, who have suffered more than most in the recession, but these posts will also be new jobs, helping Welsh businesses to expand.”
Participants will be paid at or above the National Minimum Wage for a minimum of 25 hours per week. The programme will cater for those that are job ready but can’t find employment. It will be funded by £25m per year over the term of government.
Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews, today gave Assembly Members details of the scheme and announced the start of a pilot to test the scheme ahead of its start next year.
“The current financial climate has led to the emergence of a growing number of 16-24 year olds who have fallen outside work or education,” he explained.
“Jobs Growth Wales will enable individuals to gain good quality work experience to progress into sustained employment or where appropriate an apprenticeship.
“It is envisaged that the majority of jobs will be generated within the private sector, although there will also be some available within the public and voluntary sectors. Businesses that take part in the scheme will need to demonstrate that the jobs we support are new ones.”
Mr Andrews said they would run a small pilot this autumn to test the approach within the private sector and to fully inform the wider programme implementation from April next year.
“Jobs Growth Wales also provides an opportunity to tackle some specific issues within the Welsh economy. There will three specific streams targeting graduates, micro business and green jobs.
“A specific strand will be developed to target graduates building on the existing Go Wales Programme.
Often micro businesses are reluctant to take the plunge of employing for the first time or growing for fear of the risk and bureaucracy. So we have developed a strand to help this critical sector of our economy develop.
And another strand will be developed to create jobs within the energy sector, helping to meet our commitment to reducing carbon emissions.”
Robust eligibility criteria and quality standards will be established prior to the implementation of Jobs Growth Wales. A moderating panel will be established from January 2012 to ensure these are being met. Membership of the panel will include employers, Job Centre Plus and Wales TUC.