COVID-19 Recovery Funding to Boost Jobs and Skills in Wales

COVID-19 Recovery Funding to Boost Jobs and Skills in Wales

The Welsh Government is launching a new £40 million fund to support everyone with access to jobs and skills training or help to start their own business. The initiative forms part of a longer-term plan to help Wales recover from coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure nobody is left behind.

Central to the new funding package is a pledge that everyone over 16 will receive the assistance they need to access advice and support to find work, pursue self-employment or to take up a place in education or training.

More support for apprenticeships will be available, together with traineeships, redundancy assistance, retraining programmes and careers advice. The Welsh Government believes all of this will be vital in addressing an expected rise in unemployment and the risk of deepening economic inequality caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

There will be an emphasis on achieving better outcomes for people who will be affected most by the economic downturn, including disabled people, those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, women, and those with low skills and on low wages.

The package will provide:

More than £20 million to incentivise employers to recruit and retain 5,000 apprentices, increase the capacity of traineeship programmes and support more graduates to access work experience and paid work placements.

Almost £9 million to help workers access retraining and find new employment, including in areas of skills demand, through ReACT and the Union Learning Fund.

Funding for traineeships, Working Wales and Communities for Work Plus will be increased to help match people to job opportunities and promote self-employment and new ways of working, as well as funding to support employer-led training through the Flexible Skills programme.

A new Barriers Fund, offering up to £2,000 to support people who may not have previously considered self-employment, in particular women, young people, people from BAME communities and disabled people.

Economy Minister, Ken Skates said:

‘This £40 million package will help incentivise employers to take on and train new workers, including apprentices and young people. It will also help employers to retain and reskill the existing workforce and support individuals looking for work to secure employment or start up their own businesses.’

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