The Welsh Labour Government has been accused of "fudging its figures" regarding its Jobs Growth Wales scheme, after recent figures showed that hundreds of young people are going backwards in their progression following placements on the scheme.
Figures collated by the Welsh Liberal Democrats show that 28% of those who completed a 6 month private sector placement on the scheme went onto an apprenticeship, further education or other training.
The Welsh Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Business, Eluned Parrott AM, has questioned why these young people, who are expected to be "job ready" when they start the scheme, are no longer "job ready" when they finish.
Eluned Parrott AM said:
"Jobs Growth Wales is talked about in near mythical terms by Welsh Labour Ministers, but it's time that this myth was busted. The Welsh Labour Government laughably claims the scheme has an 81% success rate, but this includes those who go onto apprenticeships and other training after their placement. This figure doesn't even consider those young people who fail to finish their placement.
"This scheme is meant for people considered to be 'job ready'. Why is it that nearly a thousand people on the scheme are no longer 'job ready' when they finish? Hundreds of young people going backwards in their progression after being on this scheme can hardly be considered a success.
"The Welsh Liberal Democrats are strong believers in apprenticeships and training. Developing skills is an important part of building a stronger economy and a fairer society. However, these opportunities are for people who need to develop skills, not those who are already considered prepared to enter the job market. The Welsh Labour Government should be making sure that these opportunities are suitable for young people before they apply, to give them the best chance of getting on in life.
"The Welsh Labour Government is fudging its figures. The claims made by Labour ministers just don't stand up."