Jobs Growth Wales to help 'another 4,000 young people' find work
A scheme that helps young unemployed people in Wales get into work is being extended at a cost of £12.5m.
The Welsh government said Jobs Growth Wales, which started in April 2012, will benefit another 4,000 young people in its fourth year.
The idea is to help young people find work by giving them experience, and to help employers by paying half of the wages for the first six months.
The programme had exceeded its target, the Welsh government said.
Jobs Growth Wales aimed to create 12,000 job opportunities over three years for unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds.
End Quote Ricky Owen
It helped me to gain the skills and knowledge I needed in order to apply for one of the permanent jobs available”
The Welsh government said the EU-backed programme had already almost achieved that in its first two years, with more than 9,000 of those 12,000 getting a job.
Deputy Skills and Technology Minister Ken Skates visited Swansea fluids manufacturer Hydra Technologies on Thursday, after it took on five people through the scheme.
"Meeting the team here today has shown me yet again how Jobs Growth Wales can not only help provide fantastic opportunities for young people who would otherwise be out of work but also allow employers in Wales to grow their business by accelerating their recruitment plans," he said.
"The programme is clearly reaping huge rewards for all involved and we are really proud of the progress that has been made in its first two years.
Ricky Owen, from Ogmore Vale in Bridgend county, had been unemployed for several months but said the new job had turned his life around.
"I had been really struggling to find a job that not only appealed to me but also met the skills and experience I already had. The job opportunity was fantastic," he said.
"It helped me to gain the skills and knowledge I needed in order to apply for one of the permanent jobs available."