Every further education college in Wales now has a dedicated employment and enterprise bureau to help young people prepare for the world of work by supporting them to find a job or setting up their own business, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has announced today.
The enhanced bureaus are an important part of the Welsh Government’s flagship Young Person’s Guarantee, which commits to providing everyone under the age of 25 living in Wales with support to gain a place in education or training and help to get into work or become self-employed.
The bureaus, which will be backed by £2.36 million in Welsh Government funding this financial year, will help young people prepare for the labour market through a package of opportunities which will be made available for both full and part-time learners.
This support will help build essential employability and enterprise skills, with advice and guidance on offer to support young people into employment or self-employment.
The Young Person’s Guarantee will help protect a generation from the impacts of lost learning and delayed labour market entry caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and to help make Wales a place where more young people feel confident in planning their future.
The employment and enterprise bureaus will be delivered by the colleges and work with key partners, such as employers, regional skills partnerships, Careers Wales and Working Wales.
They will create opportunities for learners to engage with local, regional and national employers; present varied routes into employment via programmes such as Jobs Growth Wales+, apprenticeships and Big Ideas Wales; provide one-to-one advice and guidance; and encourage aspirations for entrepreneurship amongst learners through an entrepreneurship champion in each institution.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“The enhanced employment and enterprise bureaus form a key element of our strategy to prevent youth unemployment and ensure young people are not held back nor left behind as a result of the pandemic.
“They will provide a breadth of employment support and opportunities to streamline their transition from learners to workers.
“This will include nurturing ambitions for enterprise and entrepreneurship and embedding pathways into the world of self-employment. Encouraging young adults to stay in Wales by building their careers and launching their own businesses here will be instrumental as we re-design our economy post-coronavirus.
“The employment and enterprise bureaus have also been designed to create talent pipeline needed to deliver on our Net Zero target, nurturing skills suitable for the sectors we need to grow.
“We want young people to get the best possible start in the world of work and I am determined we do all we can as a government to help deliver the long-term economic benefits our young people deserve.”
ColegauCymru strategic work-based learning and employability adviser Jeff Protheroe said:
“ColegauCymru welcomes the Welsh Government commitment to support further education learners as they take their first steps into the world of work.
“The rollout of employment and enterprise bureaus will ensure that learners receive the guidance they need to achieve their full potential.
“With employers continually adapting to meet the changing needs of a fast-moving economy, our Further Education colleges play a central role both in a local and regional context, and are ideally placed to be the interface between them and the future workforce, and to meet the needs of both.”