Two plans, one aim, will it work?


Andrew Beck is twenty one and wants a job.

He thought he had one in the bag while studying computer game design in Newport but when he graduated a year ago, "the economic situation had changed" as he put it. Bang went the job.

Since then he's had his fair share of interviews and what must feel to any bright, willing lad as an unfair share of rejection. It was the usual round of "I didn't have enough work experience or I was over qualified, it took its toll" was how he put it when we met, briefly, this morning.

Living in Varteg near Pontypool, he now describes working in the computer games or web design industry as "a dream job." Any half decent job will do.

So what does he make of the UK Government's Youth Contract, which goes live today?

He "cautiously" likes the sound of the much debated wage incentive scheme, where firms will be paid £2,275 for each 18 - 24 year old they take on for at least 26 weeks via the government's work programme. There is no guarantee of a job at the end of the 6 months, "the only work programme in history" say Labour "which does not guarantee work".

Isn't there a danger the money will disappear into the pockets of firms who'll pay as little as they can to keen young workers before showing them the door?

Yes, that might be true, says Andrew but then again, it might not. It might work. "I'd jump at the chance". He will be one of those asking in the job centre today about any local-ish firms offering subsidised work placements and asking what he needs to do to get one.

What about the extra voluntary work experience places that will be available? Now he looks more sceptical.

He already helps out with elderly people who want a lesson or two in using technology - but that's local. He can afford to get there. Getting much further afield on the money he has in his pocket just to find "an employer that milks you for all you're worth" doesn't look to him like 'a major boost' to his chances of getting a job.

In England and Scotland there'll be sector-based work academies providing pre-employment training and work experience and an apprenticeship wage incentive scheme in England only. The Welsh Government is already taking a different path here - or as they put it, their own 'routeway to work' - and tomorrow we'll learn more.

Carwyn Jones will be heading west to tell Andrew and young people like him about plans in Wales - Jobs Growth Wales - to provide thousands of paid jobs, for 6 months "with the aim of making those posts permanent at the end of the 6-month period".

It is an aim Andrew would support - but it is, of course, only an aim. It is presumably an 'aim' shared by those who champion the Youth Contract scheme.

It goes some of the way towards offering the "real jobs, real wages, a real chance for our young people" that Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged would make up the first line of his budget if Labour were in power - but as Andrew would point out, it doesn't go that crucial last step. A real job.

"It's tough out there" he said this morning. I'll keep in touch and let you know what happens - or doesn't happen.

Betsan Powys Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

A big day for health in Wales

A day of big health stories in Wales is capped with a potentially very significant announcement.

Read full article


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    The "previous" although not up to much, were better than the hopeless trio mentioned.
    Sorry Alf, but we've already left Wales.Though for obvious reasons we spend not less than 183 days pa in the UK.
    Our "children" and grandchildren have flown the Welsh nest, all that remains is to to bite the bullet, accept Mr Zarkozy's new CGT rules, and 'swap' main residences.

    Come on in, the waters warm !

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Actually Lyn I know of people who have had their houses cavity walls insulated. They have had nothing but trouble with cracks, condensation and mildew inside, which they didn't have previously. Walls are supposed to brearh that is why they have air bricks built in. Some have even been compensated for it. I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole. Have you been in an insulated loft. How cold is it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    We need to return to the training levy scheme, where employers pay a levy that finances the training of people - the fund being administered by the companies collectively and with those companies providing the training drawing on the funds from the levy to pay for it. Organised sector by sector. As for real jobs there is a huge need for retrofitting homes to be energy efficient.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    2. half way up the stairs is a stairs where I sit. I'll meet you on your way down to the front door because you always seem to want to leave, but never do. You like it here really. Be honest now and you want it all to yourself. If they are the latest sorry bunch who were the previous.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Unless your 15 minutes of fame (courtesy of Betsan) pays dividends, the best move is to go and live anywhere except Wales.

    Wales is a busted flush. The private sector is sick of being treated like dirt by Welsh govt, "experts" (Carwyn Jones/Rhodri Morgan/ Ieuan Wyn Jones) being the latest sorry bunch.

    Leave Wales..

    Unless you want to be a Welsh teacher or assembly muppet that is !

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    6 months, another joke. Then thrown back on the scrap heap when the companies have used up the Government money, again. But there again, it might work. Or not. More likely the latter. No definately the latter.
    Oh! then there is voluntary work. it's jobs they want not Government initiatives that just waste our money again. But it sounds good and there are elections coming up.


Page 2 of 2



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.