- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
Ambitious plans to create 5,000 new job and training opportunities for households in Wales where no one has a paid job, is one of the many targets that has been warmly welcomed today by Swansea East AM Mike Hedges, on the launch of the Welsh Government’s 2013 Tackling Poverty Action Plan.
The Tackling Poverty Action Plan, which was launched earlier today by First Minister Carwyn Jones and Tackling Poverty Minister Jeff Cuthbert, has set out how the Welsh Government will target its resources to prevent poverty and alleviate its impact on the lives of people and on Welsh communities.
A key ambition of the action plan will be to help individuals into employment, particularly in workless households where no adult has a paid job. The action plan will also provide a greater focus towards improving the educational attainment of children from low income families and on reducing the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETS).
Overall, the Tackling Poverty Action Plan will work towards:
- Reducing the number of young people, aged between 16-18, who are not in employment, education or training (NEETS) to 9% by 2017;
- Narrowing the gap in attainment levels for children age seven eligible for free school meals by 10% by 2017;
- Improving the overall attainment levels of pupils eligible for free school meals to GCSE grade C or above in English or Welsh and Mathematics or equivalent to 37% by 2017;
- Increasing the proportion, by 2016, of three-year olds receiving Flying Start services to achieve or exceed their developmental milestones by 5%;
- Increasing the percentage of young people leaving care who are in education, training or employment to 51% by 2017;
- Closing the health gaps between those living in the most deprived communities and more affluent ones by 2.5% by 2020;
- Reducing the number of babies born under 5.5 pounds (2500g) in the most deprived fifth of the population by 19% by 2020.
Speaking on the launch of the action plan, Swansea East AM Mike Hedges said:
“We know that unemployment can have a massive impact on so many aspects of a person’s life. The Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Action Plan recognises this which is why I’m pleased to welcome its ambitious targets, particularly the commitment to create 5,000 new job and training opportunities for families in Wales where no adult has a paid job.
“Helping people into work and employment is the best way to improve a person’s life chances. This is why we must reach into deprived communities and break the link between being born poor and spending a lifetime without work and in poverty.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“This plan is a clear commitment, right across the Welsh Government, that we will use our resources to help those currently most in need and prevent future generations experiencing poverty. These are hard times – a flat lining economy, the biggest shake-up to the benefits system in sixty years, public spending cuts and rising living costs.
“Despite this, sitting back and watching the costs associated with poverty escalate is not an option. We are determined to leave no stone unturned in finding ways of preventing and reducing poverty, which imposes enormous costs on society. The lower level of skills, poor health and poverty of ambition that deprivation brings with it are not only a tragedy for an individual, but a brake on the potential of Wales as a country.
“Underlining everything we do is an ambition to make sure that everyone, regardless of how poor they are or where they live, have equal and fair access to essential services.”