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Training and Employment

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

8. What recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on measures to promote training and employment in Wales. (298047)

Safeguarding jobs and improving access to training is, of course, a priority. In Wales, economic summits have led to an additional £20 million to support apprenticeships and the Welsh Assembly Government budget provides for a further £20.5 million to deliver education and training for the young people hit hardest by the recession.

Unemployment in Wales is rising faster than anywhere in the United Kingdom, while manufacturing capacity and output is going in the opposite direction. May I suggest to the Minister that he examine the small to medium-sized business sector, because such companies are best able to get finance and take on people who are properly trained, and best fitted to assist with the very high unemployment rates in Wales?

The situation in Wales is nowhere near as bad as it was in the 1980s and 1990s when the hon. Lady’s party was in power; that is something that the people of Wales will never forget. Moreover, people recognise that we are on the side of the people. We are introducing measures that are having a material impact on people’s lives and on the Welsh economy. The people of Wales appreciate that. If a different party were in power, the people of Wales would certainly regret it.