NEIL Hamilton, MS for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales has welcomed news of funding to support employment and training in Wales.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, was commenting after the Welsh Government launched a £40m skills and jobs fund.
“We have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, in one way or another, so I welcome any measures which will help people to find employment or training.
“We live in extremely challenging times and face an uncertain future as Covid–19 is still very much part of our lives. Countless jobs have disappeared and many more are under threat. Those just starting in the jobs market, and those who have lost their jobs, will be needing support as they search for work. I am pleased to see this has been recognised by Welsh Government and this money made available to help people train and find employment.”
The £40m skills and jobs fund is aimed at helping everyone to find work, education or training or help to start their own business.
At the heart of the new funding is a pledge 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.
The £40m package will include more than £20m to encourage 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 will help workers access retraining and find new employment, including in areas of skills demand, through ReAct and the Union Learning Fund. There will also be funding for traineeships.
A new Barriers Fund will also offer up to £2,000 to support people who may not have previously considered self-employment, in particular women, disabled people, those from BAME communities and young people.