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£30m Skills Growth Wales extension to create 3,000 jobs
Following the award of £17m from the European Social Fund to match new money provided by the Welsh Government, Skills Growth Wales will be re-launched with immediate effect.
The existing scheme, which supported 90 companies to train over 8,000 employees, closed to new applications at the end of March 2011, when all available funding had been committed.
The extended programme will provide training support until 31 March 2015 to help a further 200 companies achieve their growth plans, supporting the creation of up to 3,000 extra jobs in Wales.
Mr Cuthbert made the announcement during his visit to TES Aviation Group, Bridgend, who are benefitting from £228,935 under the first Skills Growth Wales programme.
“Skills Growth Wales is highly regarded by the private sector for its success in encouraging growth and creating new employment opportunities,” said Mr Cuthbert.
“Since the scheme was closed to new applications in March, I have received calls from businesses and their representative bodies for the re-introduction of Skills Growth Wales to support plans for growth in the private sector. So I am delighted that with the support of European funding we are now able to extend this successful scheme for another three years.
"Given the challenges of unemployment that we currently face, job creation was a prime concern when refining the current scheme. Therefore a targeted approach has been developed to identify those key businesses in priority sectors, which have a credible plan for growth that will lead to the creation of employment opportunities.”
Ashley Cooper, CEO of TES Aviation Group said:
“Skills Growth Wales funding has meant that we have been able to implement our aggressive growth plans with the confidence that recruitment of new staff would be backed by the required level of both role specific skills and leadership development training.
“It has been an exciting and challenging growth year for the TES business, and we are planning for more growth next year. Skills Growth Wales has been a significant benefit to us by helping us to deliver on our mission of providing a platform of services to a global client base, underpinned by organisational excellence.”
Gareth Jenkins, Chair of Engineering Employers Federation Wales, said:
“Skills Growth Wales, and before it ProAct, has supported Welsh companies with growth at the very time they needed it most, a great example of private and public partnership working well. It has enabled businesses to absorb new technology, enter new markets with our skills and broaden the access of our people to high quality training.”