A new Welsh Government plan to help more people in Wales to find and stay in work has been unveiled today by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething.
The new Plan for Employability and Skills sets out the actions Ministers will take to deliver the Young Persons Guarantee, support people furthest away from the Labour market to find work – and focus on improving labour market outcomes for disabled people, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic people, women, and those with low skills.
It also sets out measures to help people stay in work, through raising skills levels and preventing people from not taking up work or falling out of employment because of a health condition.
The Minister said the plan will help pave the way for a fairer, more equitable Wales where nobody is left behind or held back, helping to change people’s lives for the better.
The new plan sets out five key areas of action over this government term, which will propel Wales towards meeting the Welsh Government’s longer term milestones.
The five areas include:
Delivering a Young Person’s Guarantee – in order to protect a generation from the impacts of lost learning and delayed labour market entry, and to help make Wales a place where more young people feel confident in planning their future.
Tackling economic inequality – by shifting the focus of employability programmes to helping those furthest away from the Labour market to find work, and improving labour market outcomes for disabled people, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic people, women, and those with low skills. This includes building on the successful community based approach in partnership with Local Authorities.
Promoting Fair Work for all – by using the levers available to the Welsh Government to improve the offer for workers, and encouraging employers to make work better, fairer and more secure.
More support for people with a long term health conditions to work – better anchoring the health service both as an employer and part of the delivery network to prevent people falling out of work, or getting into employment because of a health condition.
Raising skill levels and adaptability of the workforce – by expanding flexible and personal learning opportunities for people in and out of work so they have the chance to improve their skills, find work or retrain throughout their lives.
As part of the plan the Welsh Government will work with its partners to help ensure that 90% of 16-24 year olds in Wales will be in education, employment, or training by 2050. It will also work to eliminate the pay gap for women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals, and disabled people and eradicate the gap in the employment rate between Wales and the UK with a particular focus on under-represented groups.
Launching the new plan, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“Our new Employability Plan sets out our vision for a fairer and more equal Wales, where we work to ensure nobody is left behind or held back, and with a commitment to changing people’s lives for the better.
“Through the plan we want to lift people out of poverty and help everyone – particularly those furthest from the labour market – to navigate and respond to the work related challenges they will face throughout their lives, whether that is through training, retraining, upskilling, changing career or starting a business. It will build on the significant labour market and skills improvement in Wales since publication of the last plan in 2018.
“It will also help us meet the skills required by Welsh businesses by driving workforce diversity, making the most of our talent in Wales, and shaping an economy that works for everyone.
“Let’s be clear, we can’t fully replace the missing millions lost through the fact that the UK Government has not kept its funding promises to Wales following EU Exit, although we have prioritised budgets to smooth the transition and to boost our investment in people and skills.
“We will continue to press the UK government to back our Team Wales’ ambitions to invest in the talent of our people and restore Wales’ lost £1 billion.”
To support the plan, last week we extended the Childcare Offer so parents can be supported to undertake education and training.
The Minister is today announcing the launch of Jobs Growth Wales+ – a £200m programme specifically for young people. This will replace the Welsh Government’s existing Jobs Growth Wales and Traineeship programmes.
Under Jobs Growth Wales+, young people will receive individualised support to equip them with the skills, qualifications and experience to find a job and remain in employment.
Flexibility and tailored support is at the heart of the new programme and contractors will work with young people to make sure they have everything they need to access opportunities, including flexible training hours, as well as help with travel, childcare costs and specialised equipment.
Wage subsidies of up to 50% of the first six months’ wages, and on-the-job training will be available for businesses employing young people aged 16-18 through the scheme.
In the coming weeks, the Welsh Government will also launch ReAct+ – a new programme to upskill and support young people who are not currently in education, training or employment, and unemployed adults, into work.
Both new programmes are part of the Welsh Government’s ambitious Young Person’s Guarantee, which brings together a wide range of programmes designed to provide the right support for young people across Wales.
The Minister said:
“Supporting Welsh businesses to adapt, grow their workforce and develop skills for the future will be essential.
“These new programmes have been designed to help businesses with recruitment and workforce planning, creating more job opportunities in the sectors we need to grow, while supporting young people on their journey into employment. Importantly, they form part of our Young Person’s Guarantee, to ensure no young person in Wales misses out on the opportunity of a fulfilling career as a result of the pandemic.”
Average UK price of diesel hits record of more than £1.80 a litre
LESS than two months after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 5p a litre cut on the average price of fuel – diesel prices have reached a record high price of 180.29p a litre.
The previous high of 179.90p was recorded on March 23rd 2022 – the day of the Spring Statement from Sunak.
In recent weeks, the UK government has tried to move away from its reliance on importing Russian oil, following President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Worryingly for drivers of petrol cars, the price per litre is fast approaching the record levels of 167.3p per litre set on March 22nd.
This latest price rise adds another challenge to UK households, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across the country.
RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Sadly, despite the Chancellor’s 5p a litre duty cut the average price of a litre of diesel has hit a new record high at 180.29p.”
“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel.”
“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”
“Unfortunately, drivers with diesel vehicles need to brace themselves for yet more pain at the pumps. Had Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we call on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank.”
“As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”
“The average price of petrol is also on the rise having gone up nearly 3p a litre since the start of the month to 166.65p which means it’s less than a penny away from the all-time high of 167.30p set on 22 March.”
Beware of fake E.ON refund emails, warns Action Fraud
ACTION FRAUD – the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime – has said scammers are impersonating Eon in an attempt to steal the recipient’s money and financial details.
The UK’s energy crisis has seen household utility bills rocket following the price cap increase this April, scammers are seeing this as an opportunity to fleece unsuspecting residents out of their hard-earned cash.
Action Fraud said today it has received 449 relating to fake emails – known as phishing – purporting to come from E.ON.
The emails state that the recipient is owed an £85 refund due to an ‘overcharge’.
Action Fraud has said the links to the emails lead to a ‘genuine-looking website’ but they are designed to steal a personal details.
Phishing is a method used by scammers, using fake emails or web links which look trustworthy and familiar, to gain access to sensitive information such as passwords and bank details or to infect your device with malware.
Phishing emails are a very common type of cyber attack and because they’re made to look like they’re from an official source, they’re easy to fall victim of.
They could be from a business you’re a customer of – your gas and electricity supplier, for example – asking you to manage your account or pay a bill.
If you’ve had a suspicious email from someone claiming to be from E.ON, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org for their cyber security team to investigate, if you’re a customer or not, and then delete it immediately.
Email safety tips
E.ON has listed four things you can check if you’ve received an email claiming to be from us.
- Check the sender’s address
The senders email address may look trustworthy at first, but the name after the ‘@’ (the domain) can give you a clue as to whether it’s bogus. For example if the email is sent from: @eonHelpDeskUK.com, this is likely a malicious phishing attempt, as we’d only send emails from @eonenergy.com.
- Is the greeting personal?
A genuine email will address you by your full name, and not a generic term like ‘sir’, ‘madam’, or ‘loyal customer’.
- Be cautious
If you’re using a mouse, hover over any links you’re unsure of before clicking on them, just to see if the link address looks genuine. If you’re unsure, go to the website directly instead of using the link in the email.
- How does it look?
Check the grammar, tone and design of any emails which you receive. Look out for inconsistent fonts, unusual characters and punctuation.
Remember, if you’re unsure, forward the email to email@example.com and our cyber security team will investigate.
Ownership change for 200-year old hotel in Llanelli hotel following significant funding deal
A 200-YEAR-OLD hotel in Llanelli is set to get a new lease of life after its new owners secured significant funding from NatWest.
Nickesha Graham-Burrell and Balfour Burrell obtained a £420k funding package from the bank to purchase The Ashburnham Hotel in Pembrey following the retirement of its previous owners.
The Burrells plan to strengthen the impressive reputation and operation of the £650,000 annual turnover business including considerable investment in landscaping and internal refurbishments at the seven-acre site, and a future vision to add guest lodges to the grounds.
The couple also plans to improve sustainability by installing electric vehicle charging points on-site.
Balfour, a former construction project manager, will take over as general manager. All current staff will be retained as part of the changing of hands, while the new owners hope to create more jobs in the local area as the business expands.
Built as an independent inn in the early 1800s to provide accommodation for businesspeople in the area, the hotel inherits its name from the Earl of Ashburnham, who lived at Pembrey house until the 1920s. Most notably, the property accommodated aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart for an overnight stay following her transatlantic flight in 1928, where she became the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
The deal was completed in March 2022 and secured the freehold of the hotel alongside all existing furniture and fittings. Jo McCarthy, commercial finance broker at B2B Finance, Andrew Styles, business development manager and Paul Dunne, relationship manager, both at NatWest, supported the transaction.
Nickesha said: “Ashburnham Hotel is an extremely important business in the local area and sits in idyllic surroundings close to Pembrey Country Park and Ashburnham golf course. It is rich in history and still plays a huge part in the local community offering everything from weddings to business meetings and dining opportunities.
“The hotel has seen many changes over the years and will undergo internal and external refurbishment to create a sophisticated and luxurious feel. We’re excited about the future of the business and are committed to ensuring it remains authentic as the operation expands.”
Paul Dunne, Relationship Manager at NatWest for Carmarthenshire, said: “Working with Nickesha and the team to secure this funding package has been a pleasure. I am confident the funds provided by NatWest will help to inject refreshed life back into the much-loved hotel and encourage additional employment opportunities in the area.
“The hospitality sector has faced a particularly challenging time on a national scale, however, SMEs such as The Ashburnham Hotel will play a huge role in our economic recovery and Natwest is delighted to support this venture.”
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