Ed Miliband praises Welsh government job plans

Image caption The Labour leader said there were lessons to be learned from the Welsh government

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has praised the Welsh government's record on tackling youth unemployment as his party's conference takes place.

Mr Miliband said the Welsh government was making "a big difference" despite rising numbers of young jobless people.

It was "out-performing" the UK government, he said.

Last month's official figures showed that the number of people aged between 18 and 24 claiming jobseeker's allowance had quadrupled in Wales.

"I certainly think when it comes to tackling youth jobs the Welsh assembly government led by Carwyn Jones is way outperforming the Westminster Government, " Mr Miliband told BBC Wales.

The Labour Leader was speaking in Manchester ahead of his party's conference.

Lessons to be learned

"What they're doing, with Jobs Growth Wales, putting young people back to work - 4,000 young people a year - that's exactly what our conference is about.

"(It) is about how do we rebuild Britain and how do we rebuild our economy so we get our young people back to work, we can tackle the standard of living crisis that people face and help small businesses.

"I think there's huge amount of learning we can do from what the government is doing in Wales."

The Labour leader added: "I think what you've got is a government in Wales which is fighting against and leaning against what the Westminster government overall is doing and I think within that they're making a big difference. "

Devolved issues

Mr Miliband said he "congratulated" the Labour government in Wales for what it is doing for youth unemployment at a time the economy has been "put back into recession by the Westminster government".

"... Carwyn (is) saying, 'look, that's not our agenda, we're going to try to make as much of a difference as we can and I think they're totally right to do it and I'm very proud of what they're doing.'"

Speaking on devolved issues - and about free prescriptions in particular Mr Miliband said he doubted England would be able to afford free prescriptions but "that is the whole point of devolution".

"The point of devolution is that on a whole range of devolved issues people in Wales, local people, can make their judgements. They elect a government to do that."

He added he was a politician who is very "comfortable" with devolution and "different solutions" in different parts of the country.

"What I know is that a economic strategy led from Westminster which was different would help Wales and I look forward, I hope after the next general election, if we win that election to be Carwyn's partner in helping the Welsh economy rebuild. I know that's what Carwyn wants to see too."

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