Jobs and skills package welcomed by business leaders
The Welsh Government has today (Tuesday 28 July) announced a £40million jobs and skills package to help the Welsh economy recover from the impact of coronavirus.
It will reveal more support for apprenticeships, together with traineeships, redundancy assistance, retraining programmes and careers advice.
There will also be a pledge to help anyone over 16 in Wales to access advice and support to find work, pursue self-employment or find a place in education or training.
The additional funding follows an announcement last week by Education Minister Kirsty Williams of a £50m investment in skills and learning for higher and further education.
Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said: “The Welsh economy was already struggling before Covid-19 hit, and now every single bit of growth matters for people’s jobs and livelihoods. The announcement of a £40m jobs and skills recovery package is extremely welcome and shows the Welsh Government has listened to the concerns of local businesses.
“Flattening the unemployment curve will be a significant but essential challenge in the weeks and months ahead – we all know the dangers of long-term unemployment and the scarring impact it has on individuals and communities.
“Business must work closely with government to ensure that everything is done to create new opportunities, especially for young people, in order to prevent a lost generation of Welsh workers.”
Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said: “Business will be pleased to see this announcement from Welsh Government today.
“Many firms are only just beginning to get back on their feet due to the impact of Coronavirus, and it is likely that more intervention will be needed as we continue what will be a long road to recovery.
“We’re also pleased to see references to supporting people into self-employment, but there are some significant questions that will need to be answered. How will Welsh Government ensure that this funding gets to where it needs to, and with the immediacy that the situation requires? How will we ensure that this funding has the practical impact that we need it to?
“We look forward to seeing more detail from the Minister in due course, and hope to inform how to ensure a successful, sustainable recovery from coronavirus.”
Shadow Minister for Finance, Nick Ramsay said: “Packages of support to help the economy and save jobs from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is something I certainly welcome.
“The UK Conservative Government has – and is still – dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in its continued support for Wales. Funding from Westminster has enabled the Welsh Labour-led Government’s latest support package unveiled today - without it, this announcement would not have been possible.
“We Welsh Conservatives have been saying for weeks that this is an economic emergency as well as public health crisis, and as a result the UK Conservative Government is doing all it can to enable Wales’ economic recovery.”
The Shadow Minister for Skills, Suzy Davies MS, added: “Investing to protect jobs and skills is absolutely crucial.
“Today’s announcement from the Welsh Labour-led Government comes weeks after the UK Conservative Government announced the ambitious Kickstart scheme, which will create more opportunities for young people, as well as many other historic support packages.
“Also of importance are the large funding announcements from the UK Conservative Government which have been crucial because ultimately it’s allowed the Welsh Labour-led Government to unveil its support packages, such as today’s.”