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Employability support

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Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science
Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science
We want to build a Wales that is healthy and active, prosperous and secure, ambitious and learning, and united and connected.
Our Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward, includes a commitment to reshape employability support for job ready individuals and for those furthest away from the labour market.

Plans to deliver this commitment were outlined in an Oral Statement (external link) delivered by the Minister for Skills and Science on 11th July.

Employability is not just about jobs and skills, it is about getting every aspect of Government - education, health, housing, communities, transport, rurality, childcare, regional development – all working together to support people into sustainable employment.

To deliver this commitment the Welsh Government is developing an Employability Delivery Plan which will connect and join up with a range of other policies across the organisation to ensure a more integrated approach to employability is delivered; one that is better suited to the needs of the people and businesses of Wales.

The Plan will be developed by a cross-Welsh Government Employability Board made up of senior officials. The Board was established by the Minister for Skills and Science to ensure a far more integrated approach.

To oversee this work we have established a Ministerial Employability Working Group. The Group is chaired by the Minister for Skills and Science and membership includes the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, the Minister for Social Services and Public Health, and the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language.

A detailed External Stakeholder Communications Plan will guide a period of external engagement and close partnership working with our key stakeholders in order to inform the Employability Delivery Plan.

The Employability Delivery Plan will be published at the end of 2017 and will be underpinned by a new employability offer under the name Working Wales.  

This will consist of 3 new programmes to be delivered from April 2019:

  • Adult Employability Programme
  • Youth Employability Programme - Engagement (aimed at those furthest from the labour market)
  • Youth Employability Programme - Work focus (aimed at those closer to the labour market)

Working Wales will replace our current suite of programmes: ReAct, Jobs Growth Wales, the Employability Skills Programme and Traineeships. Between now and April 2019 these programmes will be reconfigured to inform the new delivery approach.

We welcome your thoughts on our approach to employability support. If you have any comments please send them to