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Future Jobs Fund

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

7. What recent assessment he has made of the effects on levels of employment in Wales of the future jobs fund. (298046)

The £1 billion future jobs fund is already creating 4,200 jobs where they are most needed in Wales. Nearly 1,500 jobs will be created in Carmarthenshire and Swansea alone, helping many of my hon. Friend’s young constituents to find jobs.

Will my right hon. Friend join me in congratulating Carmarthenshire Training on its success on securing a good cross-section of employment opportunities from private sector, third sector and county council employers, and encourage it in its future bid for another 190 jobs? Will he do everything he can to encourage other council departments and employers to provide similar opportunities?

Yes, I am happy to congratulate Carmarthenshire on an excellent bid, which I was delighted to announce recently. I also join my hon. Friend in saying that we need more top-quality bids. That is why I have written to fellow Members of Parliament in Wales saying, “Please encourage your county councils and training providers to come forward with vital job schemes, because young people who lose jobs or who have never worked, as we saw in the 1980s and1990s, may never work in their lives. We must make sure that we provide them with the support now to get them into work.” [Interruption.]

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I shall try to raise my decibel level for you. Does my right hon. Friend agree that in times of economic downturn, what the public are looking for is the helping hand of Government intervention, such as the future jobs fund, city strategy and “Fit for Work” initiatives. What they do not want is laissez-faire, let the recession—

I think you will be pleased to know, Mr. Speaker, that my hon. Friend has helped to spearhead one of the most successful job creation projects in his town of Rhyll. It is based on a city strategy project, which has won an important scheme under the future jobs fund. That is exactly the point that he makes. We need a Government not who will cut spending, but who will continue to invest to make sure that we recover from the recession and move forward into growth. Cuts policies will not achieve that.