Plaid Cymru have said that if they were to be elected as the government of Wales next May they would provide guaranteed work for every 18-24-year-old as a post-Covid measure.
Economy shadow Minister Helen Mary Jones said that the job market was “unimaginably disheartening” for young people entering it for the first time.
Latest unemployment figures show that young people had been hardest hit by the pandemic, she said.
With the job retention scheme coming to an end on 31 October, the Welsh Government needed to step into the breach and guarantee employment for at least six months, she 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,” she said.
“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.”
In her speech later today Helen Mary Jones will say that a Future Wales Fund could be set up 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.
“It must be unimaginably disheartening to leave education amidst such uncertainty,” she said.
“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.”