Plaid Cymru would guarantee work for every 18-24-year-old

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Economy, Helen Mary Jones MS will today outline key economic policies that a Plaid Cymru government would deliver, including a Youth Jobs Guarantee.

Ms Jones says that the challenge facing people entering the jobs market for the first time in Wales is “unimaginably disheartening” and will outline Plaid Cymru’s plans in a speech at the party conference tonight.   

Latest unemployment figures show that young people have been hardest hit by the pandemic, with ever increasing numbers joining the ranks of unemployed in Wales.

With the job retention scheme coming to an end on 31 October, and uncertainty over which businesses will be able to continue operating under the new job support scheme, these unemployment figures may increase.

Ms Jones said the scheme could be established by setting up a Future Wales Fund which would offer a job to every unemployed 18-24 year old in Wales, with the following criteria for the employment:

  • At least 25 hours per week;
  • Minimum wage or higher;
  • Additional – that is, they would not otherwise be filled by the employer as part of their core business, and would not exist without the Future Wales Fund funding;
  • At least six months;
  • Be of benefit local communities;
  • Providers required to provide support for employees to move them into long term, sustained employment.

Helen Mary Jones MS, Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Economy and Tackling Poverty said,

“The coronavirus crisis has highlighted social inequalities and the vulnerabilities of day to day living for many people in Wales – and young people are in many ways hardest hit.

“It is young people who predominantly work in some of the hardest hit sectors like hospitality and they are losing jobs. There is a real risk that school leavers and University graduates will face unemployment when they join the post-COVID jobs market, which will cause long term damage to their job prospects unless major new support is provided.

“The fully costed Employment Guarantee proposed by Plaid Cymru would provide work opportunity for every 18-24-year-old at the earliest opportunity, going above and beyond even the EU Youth Guarantee.

“It must be unimaginably disheartening to leave education amidst such uncertainty. What Wales needs right now is job prospects for those leaving full time education and for young people who have lost their jobs. A Plaid Cymru Government would make this a priority.”