Workplace learning providers to deliver Wales’ new jobs scheme for 16-18 year olds
Two work-based training providers will help implement the new Jobs Growth Wales+ scheme for young people.
The Flexible Scheme, a key part of the Welsh Government’s Youth Guarantee, offers a tailored package of support to help young people aged 16-18 develop their skills and work experience based on employers’ needs to help them find their first job.
ACT and ITEC Skills and Employment, both based in Cardiff and members of the National Training Federation of Wales, have been awarded contracts to deliver the new program alongside Pembrokeshire College, Coleg Cambria and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.
To be eligible for Jobs Growth Wales+, young people must be aged 16-18, not in full-time education, employment or training (NEET), live in Wales and be assessed by Working Wales .
Working Wales then steers eligible young people into the program which has three strands – engagement, advancement and employment – and offers a holistic approach to each learner’s journey.
The program aims to equip young people with the skills, qualifications and experience needed to progress to employment, further learning or an apprenticeship.
The Engagement and Advancement streams are designed to overcome barriers identified by Working Wales and to help learners develop the skills they need to progress.
This includes internships, work trials, community projects, voluntary work, center-based learning opportunities and achieving qualifications ranging from entry level to level two.
When a company employs a young person through Jobs Growth Wales+, the Welsh Government pays up to half of the employment costs at the national minimum wage for the first six months.
Each job offered by an employer must be between 16 and 40 hours per week, for a minimum of six months and in addition to existing labor needs. The employer must also undertake to retain the employee after six months.
Employers receive ongoing, personalized training support from a designated training provider and free recruitment advice.
Leon Patnett, head of youth engagement and training at ACT, said the company will work with many partners and employers from a variety of work sectors, to provide enrichment experiences and learning resources that broaden the horizons of learners.
ACT will work with partners to deliver Jobs Growth Wales+ across Wales.
“We are delighted to offer the Jobs Growth Wales+ scheme, which offers a more holistic approach to the development of young people based on their education, learning and wellbeing needs,” said Mr Patnett.
“Our goal is to develop young people into healthy and confident individuals, ambitious and capable learners, enterprising and creative contributors, and ethical and informed citizens.
“We have looked at where the skills and job shortages are and changed what we are doing to ensure learners have the best chance of employment.”
Julie Dyer, operations manager at ITEC Skills and Employment, said the company will implement the program in South and Mid Wales, alongside contractors, and work closely with employers .
“It’s great to see how the new program has been developed to support the changing learning and employment landscape, especially with the challenges that Covid-19 has brought over the past two years,” she added.
“We are seeing a growing number of 16 to 18 year olds suffering from significant mental health issues and social anxiety. Whether a young person is focused on their work or suffering from mental health issues and anxiety, we can tailor a support program that is unique to them.
“Every strand of Jobs Growth Wales+ supports a learner’s literacy, numeracy and wellbeing. We will always seek to identify the individual’s obstacles and work together to overcome them.
“We look forward to working alongside the Welsh Government and fellow contractors to help shape the future of the Youth Guarantee and implement the new scheme.”
Employers who express an interest in Jobs Growth Wales+ will be contacted by an Employment Engagement Adviser. They can also call the Business Wales helpline on 03000 603000.
Pictured: Leon Patnett, Youth Engagement and Training Manager, ACT Training and Julie Dyer, Operations Manager, ITEC Skills and Employment.
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