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Young people at risk of leaving education will be provided with meaningful work experience as part of efforts to ensure they reconnect with their education, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has announced today.

First published:
21 June 2023
Last updated:

Following on from a successful pilot, the half a million-pound scheme will support up to 500 learners aged 14-16, in years 10 and 11 in 2023/24. They will benefit from high quality work experience placements, in a sector that appeals to them as part of wider Welsh Government work to prevent and reduce youth unemployment.

Careers Wales advisers will work with schools and employers across Wales to match up to 500 year 10 and year 11 learners with a placement.

Learners will be expected to engage or reengage with core GCSE studies at their school as part of the scheme, whilst attending their work experience placement, one to two days a week.

As part of the pilot scheme where 100 year 10 learners were offered a work experience placement, Louie, now a year 11 learner at Newport High School was placed at Brooklyn Motors, a local garage in Newport.

Louie was not attending school in year 10, but as a result of his work experience placement and the mentorship of David Cocks, the owner of the garage, he has returned to school and is catching up with his school work.

Louie said:

“The placement has helped my confidence grow and I would recommend all students to do work experience.

“If I had not done the work experience, I would not have done my GCSE’s, I have done more this year to catch up, because of my work experience.

“I did not go to school last year, but now since I started work experience, and because I know David says it’s important, I don’t miss school.”

Louie has since been offered an apprenticeship where he will be learning about light vehicle mechanics and maintenance, which has had a huge impact on his confidence and motivation.

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said:

“Giving a real-life insight into the world of work through work experience is known to boost the career prospects of young people.

“I am determined to ensure young people have the aspiration, self confidence and opportunities they need to get on in life.

“That’s why I’m announcing over £500,000 for Careers Wales to build on this successful scheme to help the young people who will benefit the most from work experience.”

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:

“The Welsh Government is determined to ensure we do everything we can to inspire children and young people to achieve their potential, so they play their full part in our economy and society.

“This new scheme, which will provide year 11 learners with access to meaningful work experience in a sector they want to work in, will be crucial to ensuring they’re supported and inspired do just that.”

The scheme will give learners access to new opportunities and a network of contacts outside of their school and immediate family to help them to develop and progress their career ambitions, highlighting some of the different careers and career pathways available to them.

They will have a chance to develop knowledge, gain practical skills and improve confidence to help secure future employment.