blank
Connect with us

Welsh Government

Welsh Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee officially launched

Published

on

The Welsh Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee – providing everyone under 25 with the offer of work, education, training, or self-employment – has been launched today by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething.

The ambitious programme will help ensure there is no lost generation in Wales following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Young Person’s Guarantee is a key commitment in the Welsh Government’s five year Programme for Government.

The comprehensive package brings together programmes designed to provide the right support at the right time for the diverse needs of young people across Wales. This includes new user friendly services to help young people find opportunities more easily.

Phase one of the Guarantee provides young people aged 16 to 24 in Wales with access to:

  • one simple route to access the guarantee via Working Wales – support and advice from advisers will be provided in multiple forms, including virtually, on the high street, and through improved outreach facilities across Wales;
  • self-employment advice and support available through Big Ideas Wales;
  • traineeships, that provide work experience and training;
  • training and wage incentives via the ReAct programme;
  • a place on one of the Welsh Government’s outreach Community Employability programmes;
  • help to find an apprenticeship;
  • a new course search platform, for those wanting to enter further education or higher education, to make it easier to find their choice;
  • a referral to one of the programmes funded by other partners, such as DWP and Local Authorities.

Working Wales has today become the single gateway for every 16 to 24 year old in Wales to access the Guarantee. This will build on its already strong and successful model of delivering careers guidance and signposting support.

Working Wales is also trialling a new Job Matching service, to assist young people with securing employment and to help employers fill vacancies.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government is determined that there will be no lost generation in Wales as a result of the pandemic.

Advertisement

“Our young people hold the key to Wales’ future success – which is why I’m delighted to officially launch our Young Person’s Guarantee today. We are putting in place an ambitious programme designed to provide everyone under 25 in Wales with the offer of work, education, training, or self-employment.

“This is the bold action we must take to help young people get the best possible start. We want to give young people the support they need for a brighter future when leaving school, college, university, if they are unemployed or even facing redundancy.

“Whatever the uncertainties we face, we can be sure of one thing – failing to step up to support young people today, guarantees economic failure tomorrow.”

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Welsh Government

Fund to tackle loneliness and isolation launched

Published

on

By

A fund to tackle loneliness and social isolation will help grass root organisations bring communities together across Wales.

The three year Loneliness and Social Isolation Fund will support front-line, local, grass-roots organisations, which bring people of all ages together, helping them to build social connections in and across communities.

£1.5 million has been split across Welsh local authorities, working in partnership with County Voluntary Councils, over the next three years and will help organisations run face-to-face activities safely and securely or continue online activities if access to venues is difficult or to reach people who are not ready to attend in-person events.

All applicants had to demonstrate how their proposal met one or more of the Welsh Government’s loneliness and social isolation strategy priority areas.

The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said: “Community groups are best placed to understand what their communities need and what support is required to help people re-engage and re-build social connections. The funding announced today will help small organisations support their communities by scaling up existing activities, promoting themselves more widely and helping fund the use of suitable venues.

“The pandemic caused many people across Wales to feel lonely and isolated. Even with the lifting of restrictions some people may still have some concerns or hesitations about leaving their homes and re-engaging with others.  I hope the projects funded will help alleviate some of these fears.”

Councillor Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire County Council’s Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “We are delighted Denbighshire has been successful in its bid to the Welsh Government’s Connected Communities Loneliness and Isolation fund. In Denbighshire we will be calling this the “Getting Back Together” fund. Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council and the Council’s Community Support Services, Community Development, Libraries and One Stop Shops have already received requests for support for a range of activities and interventions which will help residents re-engage with friends, families and those with shared interests.

Advertisement

Many people have been suffering considerably from a sense of loneliness and isolation particularly since the pandemic began and this fund will help to support those in need.”

Councillor Lisa Dymock, Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Community, Well-being and Social Justice said: “This funding will really help to kickstart local community projects and support communities to turn their ideas into reality. We know that loneliness and social isolation are serious problems in our county and can affect anyone of any age or background.  We know the best way to tackle loneliness is to build thriving, inclusive communities from the ground up; this is the core purpose of our local community networks.  Building on the strong partnership between GAVO, Monmouthshire Council and other important local organisations, Monmouthshire’s community networks are a way to help people who want to take action and make positive changes in their area connect with other like-minded people. 

“Putting communities in the driving seat is at the heart of everything we try to do in Monmouthshire.  We know that local groups and citizens are fizzing with ideas for how to transform their local areas and to bring people together in the process.  This fund will be another important step in supporting them to do just that and to help all our residents to be fully included in their local communities.”

Continue Reading

Plaid Cymru

Mark Drakeford and Adam Price sign co-operation agreement

Published

on

By

The First Minister and Leader of Plaid Cymru have today signed the Co-operation Agreement, marking the start of a three-year partnership.

The agreement covers 46 policy areas, including the extension of free school meals to all primary school pupils and childcare provision; the creation of a national care service and immediate and radical action to address the second homes crisis.

The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru will work together to jointly develop and oversee the delivery of policies in the Co-operation Agreement.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Over the next three years, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru will work together to jointly develop and deliver the policies set out in this Co-operation Agreement.

“This is a bespoke agreement to deliver for Wales but it also captures how Welsh politics works – by finding common ground and sharing good ideas.

“I look forward to working in partnership on this ambitious programme.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru leader Adam price sign the cooperation agreement

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: “Today marks the beginning of a new way of doing politics.

“As Wales faces many challenges from Brexit, the climate emergency and the ongoing pandemic, co-operation has never played such a pivotal part in our democracy.

Advertisement

“The wide-ranging, radical policies included in the Co-operation Agreement – from free school meals for all primary pupils to extending free childcare to all two-year-olds – will change the lives of thousands of families in Wales for the better.

“I’m proud to sign this agreement with the First Minister and look forward to working together to make a difference to the lives of the people of Wales.”

Continue Reading

Property

Minister launches ‘Ending Homelessness Action Plan’ with new funding for private rented sector to play their part

Published

on

By

The Welsh Government say their commitment to end homelessness will be made clear in the Senedd later today as Climate Change Minister Julie James launches the Ending Homelessness Action Plan.

The Minister, who says that when homelessness occurs it should be ‘rare, brief and unrepeated’, will also announce a new £30million funding pot over five years for local authorities. 

Under the Private Rented Sector Leasing Scheme, private property owners will be encouraged to lease their properties to local authorities in return for a rent guarantee and additional funding to improve the condition of their property.

Local authorities can then use these properties to provide affordable and good quality homes for people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

Tenants will benefit from the security of long-term tenures of between five to 20 years and help to maintain their stay in a long-term home, such as mental health support or debt and money management advice.

This sits alongside the Welsh Government’s ambitious plan to build 20,000 low carbon, good quality and affordable homes for rent over the next five years.

The Homelessness Action Plan builds on the unprecedented work undertaken by local authorities, social landlords, public services and third sector partners, who have provided accommodation and support for more than 15,000 people experiencing or threatened with homelessness during the pandemic.

Advertisement

The Plan has been shaped by the recommendations of the independent expert Homelessness Action Group, reflecting the changes required to prevent homelessness and make the shift to rapid rehousing so that people are in temporary accommodation for the shortest possible time.

The plan makes clear the need to prevent the problems that lead to homelessness from happening in the first place so homelessness can finally be ended in Wales.

The causes of homelessness extend well beyond access and availability of affordable homes. Ending homelessness is a cross-sector, cross-government priority relevant to health, social services, education, criminal justice, community services and our wider economy.

All this is recognised within the Action Plan, as is the need for wide-reaching legislative and policy reform.

Yesterday the Minister met Jonathan Lewis, 42, from Swansea. Jonathan has overcome huge challenges throughout his childhood, teenage and adult life and has finally been able to find and thrive in a secure home.

Advertisement

As an adult, Jonathan found himself sofa surfing or sleeping in his car for extended periods of his life.

After receiving a network of support, Jonathan now lives in a good quality and affordable one bedroom home rented to him by Caredig, and works full-time for the Wallich, helping homeless people like he once was, into supported housing.

Jonathan says: “The last few years have been the hardest and most rewarding I have ever had.

“I’ve never had a house, I’ve never had my own property – it’s given me the push I needed – it’s given me something I don’t want to lose. Someone has put that trust in me, that I’m worthy enough to have something decent in life.

“I pinch myself that I’ve come from a bedsit to something so beautiful. I used to sofa surf or sleep in my car, but now I have my own home. And I pay for this with the money I earn. It makes me really proud. I keep it spotless!

Advertisement

“In my new job I support people in the situation that I’ve also been in, to show them that life can be different and here’s how to make it better. I just want to help people like I’ve been helped.”

Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “Meeting Jonathan today – who really is an inspiration – just shows the importance to every-one of a decent, affordable and stable home. As well as all the hard work Jonathan has put in, services have worked together to give him the support he needs. This means Jonathan is now in a good position to provide this support to others facing hardship and potential homelessness.

“I want to say thank you again for the extraordinary work of those working in homelessness and housing support services across local authorities, registered social landlords and the third sector. Each and every day they work to help and support those without a home.  They transform lives, they offer hope and they have undoubtedly saved many lives throughout this pandemic. They should be proud of all they have done and continue to do. My priority now is to build on our successes to prevent homelessness and ensure that when it does, it is rare, brief and unrepeated”

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “It was a privilege to meet Jonathan today and hear how after being supported into his own home, he has truly flourished. Everyone should have that same opportunity, so we welcome this bold and vital plan to end homelessness in Wales. 

“The Welsh Government-led response to the pandemic has not only delivered decisive action to prevent and reduce homelessness during the public health emergency but has laid strong foundations for ensuring the long-lasting, positive impact of the progress made over recent years.  

Advertisement

“This plan rightly recognises that the work done to ensure no one is left out of support must continue, as must the joined-up approach across services in ending homelessness as a public health issue. It shows how we can put the measures in place to prevent homelessness wherever possible and respond as quickly as possible when people lose their homes. We look forward to working with the Welsh Government, councils, health services and other charities in putting it into action.”

Liz Green, Consultant in Public Health, Policy and International Health at Public Health Wales, and co-author of new Health Impact Assessment report, ‘No place like home?’, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic, and measures to reduce transmission of the virus, has had many wide-ranging impacts on the population of Wales, and has led to many people spending more time in their homes, highlighting the importance of good quality, affordable and secure housing.

“The need for security in relation to having, and keeping, a home and being surrounded by a safe and consistent home environment, and its impact on both physical and mental health and well-being has long been recognised. During times of uncertainty, such as in the COVID-19 pandemic, a home can provide a secure and stable base for individuals and households in order to help them live and work through and ultimately recover from the pandemic and its effects.

“The action plan will be timely for tackling inequalities, particularly those exacerbated by the pandemic.”

Jonathan’s Story

Jonathan Lewis, 42

Jonathan had a shaky start in life. His much-loved ‘Nana’, who he lived with alone, sadly passed away when Jonathan was just seven. He then experienced domestic violence within his family home at a young age.

Advertisement

He was exposed to shoplifting and petty crime in his day-to-day life growing up. Jonathan’s step-dad even used to take him on outings to break into cars at night. Though he says he has fond memories [aged eight] of eating beans on toast in the police station with his brother after his step-dad had been arrested, he ponders over how it all felt ‘completely normal’ to him at the time.

Jonathan put himself into care at 12 years old when home became ‘too much to handle’. As a result of this early trauma, he started using drugs.

At aged 15, Jonathan was sent to a young offenders’ institute for the first time.

Though Jonathan had briefly settled at aged 20 to have children, without support to address his early trauma he continued to use drugs to numb the pain of his past.

His mental ill health resulting from his past trauma were further compounded by homelessness, as he found himself sofa surfing and sleeping in his car. He was at an all-time low aged 30. Jonathan turned to heroin to self-medicate, resulting in further offending- for which Jonathan is very remorseful- and a longer spell in prison.

Advertisement

In prison, Jonathan worked hard, with access to support, to turn his life around. He signed up to a twelve-step drugs recovery programme and soon gained qualifications after taking part in cookery and other courses that were offered to him.

On leaving prison, Jonathan was helped to access supported housing for people dealing with past trauma and mental ill health, and picked up work here and there in kitchens and on building sites.

In 2018, Jonathan was given the keys to his new home. A one-bedroom property leased to him by Caredig.

Thanks to his determination, access to stable housing and support to address his early trauma, he’s been able to turn his life around.

Now, Jonathan works full-time for The Wallich, where he helps people experiencing homelessness, just like he did, into a permanent home, with the support they need to fulfil their potential.

Advertisement

Jonathan says: “The last few years have been the hardest of my life as I’ve had to mentally adjust. I don’t have drugs to numb the pain anymore so I have to face head on what has happened to me and the impact I have had on others too. They’ve been the hardest but the most rewarding I have ever had.

“I’ve never had a home, I’ve never had my own property – it’s given me the push I needed – it’s given me something I don’t want to lose. Someone has put that trust in me, that I’m worthy enough to have something decent in life.

“I pinch myself that I’ve come from a bedsit to something so beautiful. I used to sofa surf or sleep in my car, but now I have my own home. And I pay for this with the money I earn. It makes me really proud. I keep it spotless!

“In my new job I support people in the situation that I’ve also been in, to show them that life can be different and here’s how to make it better. I have so much thanks for all the people that have given me a chance, trusted and enabled me to turn my life around. Now I just want to help people like I’ve been helped.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News