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Written Statement - Launch of “Moving Forward”

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology

Today I am pleased to announce the launch of the “Moving Forward” project.

Moving Forward is a £3.4m two year project which will offer supported paid work placements for young people aged 16-18 targeting young people who have offended and young care leavers who are not engaged in education, employment or training. Moving Forward is funded through Dormant Account* funding  allocated to Wales and administered by the Big Lottery Fund.

Moving Forward is a partnership project, led by Llamau, which provides young people who have offended and those leaving the care system with greater access to employment and training

Moving Forward offers young people who have offended and those leaving care a 26 week paid work placement, with a range of employers across Wales, with the aim that the employer will continue to employ them after the placement has ended. For young people needing extra support, the project will provide bespoke training in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT as well as generic employability skills. All young people enrolled on the project will receive a mentor and a personal development plan. Moving Forward partners are Llamau (Lead organisation), CBSA Wales, Sova, Construction Youth Trust and Gisda.

The  underlying  ethos  of  Moving Forward   is  about  providing   real  paid  work opportunities  – not  just  work  experience - and about maximising  a  young  person’s chances  of  making  the  most  of  that  opportunity  to  progress  into sustained employment.

Latest figures continue to show that youth unemployment remains stubbornly high – in Wales and across the rest of the UK. However, we do take  some  encouragement  from our  latest  official statistics on the numbers of  young  people  not  in  education,  work or  training.  The  rate  of 16-18 year olds NEET in  Wales  has  decreased  by  2 percentage points  between  2011  and  2012.  However,  there  is  no  complacency - we  know  that  the  real  prize  is  securing  a  sustained  reduction  over time. This is a key element in our Tackling Poverty Action Plan and in our new Youth Engagement and Progression Framework Implementation Plan.

Moving Forward will complement our national Welsh Government programmes.  Whilst our Jobs  Growth  Wales  programme is  assisting  young  people who  are  job  ready to secure sustained employment, we  know  that  for  some  young  people, securing  an employment  opportunity  can  be  a more  difficult  and  daunting  task  and  they  may require  additional  support  to  get  a  job.  

Some young people may have had more challenging lives that has made it difficult for them to get a job or to continue in further training. These young people often lack the employability skills they need to secure and sustain opportunities with employers. And, of course, employers also want employees with some degree of work experience behind them. It is often a vicious circle.  The group that Moving Forward is targeting - young people in care and care leavers and young people who have offended - can often fall into this category.

There are only a limited number of projects and programmes specifically working with care leavers and young people who have offended.  Moving Forward is therefore a unique opportunity. The Welsh Government and the BIG Lottery will be keen to evaluate the project and establish if it offers an effective model that can be replicated to support other groups of young people.  Additionally, those delivering similar employment interventions will have a strong interest in any good practice emerging from the project.


*In November 2007, the UK government introduced a Bill into Parliament, setting out proposals for a new scheme to enable money held in ‘dormant’ bank and building society accounts to be re-invested in local communities. Cabinet has approved two spending priorities for the Dormant Accounts Scheme (DAS) in Wales:

(i) Supporting children and young people to achieve their full potential working through the third sector to promote social inclusion; and 
(ii) Tackling climate change and promoting wider sustainable development through focused community-based activity.

The Dormant Account Funding for Wales is administered by the BIG Lottery Fund.