View from The Assembly by Jane Hutt AM

LAST week the Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Skills, Ken Skates AM, provided an update on the Jobs Growth Wales scheme which celebrated its second anniversary in April.

Jobs Growth Wales is a Welsh Government scheme that reimburses local employers for six months for employing young people aged 16-24. Latest figures show that 80 per cent of participants go on to take up jobs, apprenticeships or further training opportunities.

The Jobs Growth Wales scheme has exceeded its target by creating well over twelve thousand additional jobs for young people across Wales (including over 300 filled job opportunities here in the Vale) and getting more than nine thousand seven hundred unemployed young people into those jobs.

The Deputy Minister said: “Jobs Growth Wales enables individuals to gain good quality work experience which supports their progression into sustained employment. The Welsh Government could not stand back and accept that young people often experience long spells of unemployment, simply because they have no work experience, a key factor when employers are looking to recruit. That is why we introduced the programme.”

If you would like more information about the Jobs Growth Wales scheme please visit the Welsh Government website at: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/skillsandtraining/jobsgrowthwales/?lang=en

Also celebrating its second anniversary this month is the Wales Coast Path. Developed by the Welsh Government in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, sixteen local authorities and two National Parks, the Wales Coast Path opened in May 2012.

The 870 mile Wales Coast Path is the first path in the world to run right along the coastline of a country. In the year running up to September 2013 the path attracted 2.82 million visitors and provided a £32.3m economic boost to coastal towns and villages here in the Vale and right across Wales. The Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival, organised by walking charity, Valeways between May 29 and June 1, will also take in some of the beautiful Coast Path. Find out more at http://www.valeways.org.uk/

The Welsh Government invested £1.15million in 2013/14 to ensure the Wales Coast Path is of consistently high quality and will spend the same amount on upkeep and improvements in 2014/15.

Finally, the results of Sport Wales’ Active Adult Survey 2012 published last week, have revealed that adults are embracing sport more than ever before as participation figures soar. Figures show almost 40 per cent of adults in Wales partake in sport three times a week and here in the Vale of Glamorgan that figure is even higher at 48 per cent.

John Griffiths AM Minister for Sport said: "Being involved in sport can bring so many benefits, from making new friends and learning new skills to improving physical and mental health and fitness, so I am delighted that so many more adults are experiencing these advantages."

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