FMQs 12th July 2011 – Youth Unemployment

Mark Drakeford: Pa asesiad sydd wedi’i wneud gan Lywodraeth Cymru o’r hyn sy’n achosi’r cynnydd mewn diweithdra ymysg pobl ifanc yng Nghymru.  
[What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the causes of the rise in youth unemployment in Wales.]  

The First Minister: The main factor behind increases over the last few years has been the recession. Tackling youth unemployment and supporting young people continues to be a priority for us as a Government.   

Mark Drakeford: During the 1980s, when youth unemployment rose so rapidly in Wales, at least young people in that position had the comfort of knowing that, as far as the Government of the time was concerned, it was a price worth paying and something about which it had no regrets. The tone of voice may be different today, but the effect of Government policies at Westminster is no different, as we can see from the rapid rise in youth unemployment in Wales. Will you give an assurance that, as far as the Welsh Government is concerned, the unemployment of any Welsh young person is not a price that we would willingly pay, and that this Government will do everything that it can to address what surely is the single most urgent policy priority facing the fourth Assembly?   

The First Minister: You are absolutely right. The level of youth unemployment is unacceptably high, and we have committed to establishing a Wales jobs fund, which will enable 4,000 young people to receive training or an apprenticeship. It will also ensure that the opportunities that were available under the Future Jobs fund continue to be available in Wales, despite the UK Government’s unfortunate decision to end the Future Jobs fund.