Friday, 20 November 2009

Pembrokeshire’s youngsters failed by poor settlement in Welsh budged, warns AM

Pembrokeshire’s youngsters are being let down because the Welsh Assembly Government is imposing far harsher cuts on higher and further education than any other sector, warns local AM Paul Davies.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire AM said that it was unfair the HE and FE sector was expected to take a funding cut that was three times worse than in other areas.

“I do not understand why, at a time of economic recession, the Assembly Government is requiring the HE and FE sectors to find efficiency savings of 5 per cent when all other sectors are only required to find savings of 1.6 per cent,” he said during a debate on the Welsh budget in the Senedd.

The UK currently has more 16 to 24-year-olds out of work than any other EU nation, and Wales is the worst hit nation in the UK.

“One in six young people aged 16 to 24 in Wales is unemployed,” said Mr Davies. “The Welsh Assembly Government must concentrate its resources on employment and skills. Greater funding has to be provided in order to tackle youth unemployment. The best youth strategy that the Welsh Assembly Government could provide would be a strategy to create more jobs.

“The Welsh Assembly Government must explain why, in a time of recession, when economic development and skills are at a premium, it is binding the hands of these departments with

real-terms reductions in their budgets.

“It is essential that we invest in the skills of our people, and we must support those people who are currently not in education, employment and training, especially during these difficult times.”


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