Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Plaid Cymru debate on youth unemployment

Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood explained that talks were ongoing between her party and the government on how the £40m of extra funding for apprenticeships that was agreed between them would be spent.

She was speaking during the Plaid Cymru debate on 5 December 2012.

Ms Wood said she hoped the deal would lead to 10,000 more apprenticeship places for young people.

To pass the annual budget, the government had to reach an agreement with one of the opposition parties.

Plaid Cymru agreed to abstain from the vote in exchange for increased investment in apprenticeships.

The deal will be worth £40m over two years.

Also part of the deal were plans to build a science park in conjunction with Bangor and Aberystwyth universities.

Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas raised concerns over the disparity in the take-up of apprenticeships.

"Employers have told us that their apprenticeship candidates are predominantly white, male and approximately 19 years of age," he explained.

"These trends need to be broken down so that Welsh students can choose whichever career path suits them, and so that our employers can have a strong and diverse workforce."

The Liberal Democrats' spokesperson Eluned Parrott called on the government to give grants to businesses that employ young people as apprentices.

Responding to the debate, Deputy Skills Minister Jeff Cuthbert outlined how the government's Jobs Growth Wales Programme was helping young people find work.

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