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Campaign prompts funding increase for employability services 

Following a campaign from a South Wales education organisation, the Welsh Government has announced an increase in funding for employability services. 

South Wales based Whitehead-Ross Education met with MSs from across the Senedd in January following proposed cuts of £19m to employability services by Welsh Government. Since then, the Welsh Government has injected an additional £2.5m into funding for initiatives like Jobs Growth Wales Plus, ReAct, Big Ideas Wales and Communities for Work+ for the remainder of the year. 

Additionally, the Welsh Government has added a further £4.75m to next year’s budget, which starts in April. 

The education and training organisation, which supports more than 3,500 people every year, raised concerns about how the proposed cuts would impact young people in Wales who are not in education, employment or training.  

CEO of Whitehead-Ross Education, Ian Ross, held a drop in meeting with Members of the Senedd to detail the impact the proposed cuts will have on young people. 

Following this, MSs from all political groups in the Senedd supported a statement called on the Welsh Government to reconsider proposed cuts.   

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Mr Ross said: 

“Employability services for young people go far beyond securing employment. Cutting services is short sighted. It has the potential to simply pass more cases on to the frontline services that Ministers are trying to protect. 

“Education, skills, and training play a crucial role in tackling poverty and well-paid work is the best route of out poverty for those most at risk. 

“We welcome the decision by the Welsh Government to allocate additional funds for employability services for the remainder of this year and for next financial year. 

“However, next year’s budget still does not go far enough to reverse the initial £19m worth of proposed cuts from the Welsh Government.” 

He continued:

“We would like to see this further increased and will continue to urge the Welsh Government to support people of all ages in Wales to access the training, education and employability support they need to secure employment.”  

Whitehead Ross is an education and social welfare organisation that operates 14 training centres across the UK with five centres located in South Wales. Its work includes support for unemployed individuals to secure and retain jobs through employability programmes like Jobs Growth Wales Plus, adult education and social service provision. Last year alone, the organisation supported over 3,500 people to secure employment or training.