Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology
I wish to provide Members with a final update on the actions contained in the Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan.
Reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training remains a top priority for the Welsh Government. It is crucial that we identify those who are most at risk of disengaging, ensuring that they have the right education and training to support their transition into employment at the appropriate time.
Members will know that Welsh Government issued a Written Statement on the Youth Engagement and Employment Action plan in January this year and at that time made a commitment to publish a final update in September. The previous Minister for Education and Skills made an Oral Statement in April 2013 outlining plans for the development of a new framework for Youth Engagement and Progression, and a commitment to publish a full implementation plan for that framework this autumn. Actions from the Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan have been identified and incorporated within one or more strands of the new framework and on-going activity will continue to drive the good practice that has been delivered to date.
The new Youth Engagement and Progression Framework has been developed around the needs of young people, strengthening the accountability of different agencies in the system for delivering better outcomes for young people. It will set out the work of Welsh Government, local authorities and other partners in increasing youth engagement and employment in Wales. The foundations of this approach are based on six key building blocks:
- Identifying young people most at risk of disengagement
- Better brokerage and co-ordination of support
- Stronger tracking and transition of young people through the system
- Ensuring provision meets the needs of young people
- Strengthening employability skills and opportunities for employment
- Greater accountability for better outcomes for young people
The recent reduction in figures for young people who are not in education, employment or training are encouraging in such tough economic times but there are still too many young people who disengage from education and training at 16. I will be making an Oral Statement on the 1st October 2013 signalling the formal launch of our implementation plan for the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework.