Member of the Senedd for Delyn, Hannah Blythyn, has welcomed the Welsh Government’s pledge to support the people of Wales to find work, education or training, as well as starting their own business, as they launch a £40 million skills and jobs fund. The fund is just one aspect to help Wales build back better, and ensure no one is left behind, as we recover from coronavirus.
Part of the Welsh Government pledge is that everyone over 16 will receive the assistance they need to access advice and support to find work or to pursue self-employment or to find and take up a place in education or training.
More support for apprenticeships will be available, together with traineeships, redundancy assistance, retraining programmes and careers advice – all will be crucial in helping to address an expected rise in unemployment and the risk of deepening economic inequality caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Hannah Blythyn MS welcomed the announcement saying:
“This package makes clear the Welsh Government’s commitment to not simply supporting the economy but jobs and opportunities in Wales too. I will do my bit to ensure that Delyn, and North East Wales, gets the most from any support available.
We must do all we can to help those whose future is currently uncertain, by working to safeguard their employment and also making sure there is a safety net available if needed.
Anyone with concerns about their employment or young people who are interested in learning more about apprenticeships, please get in touch and I will do my best to get you the correct information”.
The fund will help employers to take on new workers, with incentives for recruiting apprentices and young people. It will also help adults overcome barriers in both maintaining and gaining work with a focus on Wales’ growth sectors.
The plan includes an emphasis on achieving better outcomes for people who will be affected most by the economic downturn, including disabled people, women, people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and those with low skills and on low wages.
The £40m package will provide:
- More than £20m to incentivise employers to recruit and retain 5,000 apprentices, increase the capacity of traineeship programmes and support more graduates to access work experience, work tasters and paid work placements.
- Almost £9m to help workers access retraining and find new employment, including in areas of skills demand, through ReACT and the Union Learning Fund. This includes the national roll-out of the personal learning accounts programme so an additional 2,000 people can learn new skills and gain new qualifications.
- Funding for traineeships, Working Wales and Communities for Work Plus will be increased to help match people to job opportunities and promote self-employment and new ways of working, as well as funding to support employer-led training through the Flexible Skills programme.
- There will be support for a new Barriers Fund, offering up to £2,000 to support people who may not have previously considered self-employment, in particular women, young people, people from BAME communities and disabled people.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates MS added:
“We have already provided Welsh business with the most generous package of support in the UK, which has been crucial in helping them through the crisis.
“Today’s announcement goes a step further and supports our workforce. This £40m package will help incentivise employers to take on and train new workers, including apprentices and young people. It will also help employers to retain and reskill the existing workforce and support individuals looking for work to secure employment or start up their own businesses.
“We are doing everything we can to drive our economic recovery. I now call on our employers to take advantage of the incentives we’re putting in place and play their part in providing quality job and training opportunities right across Wales.”