Wales youth unemployment: summit with Carwyn Jones and David Jones

A lack of on-the-job experience is highlighted as one of the problems facing young people

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Welsh Secretary David Jones has appealed for the Welsh and UK governments to unite to tackle high youth unemployment at a jobs summit.

He and First Minister Carwyn Jones will join businesses and organisations such as Jobcentre Plus in Newport.

They will discuss how to offer more work experience, internships and apprenticeships for young people.

In December, about 4,500 18-24-year-olds in Wales had been on jobseekers allowance for more than a year.

The figure is down from 4,700 in September when it hit a 15-year high.

In total, 23,100 people aged 18 to 24 were on the dole in December - the most recent month for which figures are available.

The total has been falling in recent months, however the Welsh secretary says youth unemployment is still too high and hopes Monday's event, hosted by the UK government, will help to deal with the problem.

It will focus in particular on promoting youth unemployment in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector.

David Jones said the event was important as it would give businesses, organisations and both governments the opportunity to highlight the training and support they offer young people looking for work.

Start Quote

It is the duty of governments of all levels to take every step possible to address youth unemployment”

End Quote Carwyn Jones AM First Minister

"The range of support available to help support young people into work is extensive and varied, and this summit provides the perfect platform and audience to help get that message across," he said.

"But Wales' two governments mustn't work separately.

"Working together with the business community will be vital if we are to achieve our common goal."

Martin Brown, work services director for Jobcentre Plus in Wales, said the biggest issue facing young people was a lack of practical on-the-job experience to impress a potential employer.

He said its Youth Contract provided young people with experience and relevant training.

"But importantly we're also giving employers real incentive to give young people in Wales a job," he said.

Martin Brown, Jobcentre Plus Wales

"A payment of £2,275 is available to them for every 18-24 year-old they take on, who has been out of work for six months or more."

'Safeguard jobs'

Carwyn Jones also highlighted a number of measures the Welsh government had brought in to help young unemployed people in "tough economic times".

"We have established our flagship employment scheme Jobs Growth Wales, designed to help young people in their search for work," the first minister said.

"So far we have secured 4,000 job opportunities and the posts created are new positions and therefore can help Welsh businesses grow."

He also pointed to a funding package to support businesses totalling £80m.

"Our business start-up programme has helped establish 4,860 new enterprises and create more than 10,700 jobs," Mr Jones added.

"It is the duty of governments of all levels to take every step possible to address youth unemployment."

These young people in Ammanford gave their views on difficulties in finding work

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