Plaid Cymru would prioritise the creation of jobs for young people leaving full time education

Every 18-24 should be guaranteed a work opportunity according to Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy Minister, Helen Mary Jones MS.

Research from the Resolution Foundation shows 18-24-years-old will be hit hardest from the coronavirus crisis with an additional 600,000 18-24-year-olds in the UK being pushed into unemployment over the next year, bringing the total to an estimated 1 million.

Helen Mary Jones MS said an employment guarantee scheme would stop this age group being disproportionately affected.   

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.

Currently, the focus of the Welsh Government is more on upskilling the Welsh workforce, but in an environment where many businesses are closing their doors, Ms Jones says “what Wales needs right now is jobs.

Helen Mary Jones MS, Plaid Cymru Shadow Economy Minister 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.

“Upskilling a workforce is of course important, but  it isn’t enough on its own. 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.”