The First Minister Carwyn Jones and Plaid Cymru's Leader, Leanne Wood have issued a joint statement confirming their deal on the Welsh Government's budget for 2013/14.
As a result of the global economic situation, Wales is facing challenges that have not been felt for several generations. One of the biggest challenges we face, is ensuring that Wales’ young people are provided with opportunities to equip themselves with the right skills to ensure they can maximise their employment prospects in the future. In recognition of this challenge, the Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru have today reached agreement on making sure a Budget for the coming financial year can be set.
We have agreed that an additional £20 million will be be put into supporting apprenticeships in Wales, targeted especially at those in the 16-24 age group. Opportunities to supplement Welsh Government resources with the maximum amount of EU funding will be sought. We will also ensure a further £20 million will be included in the indicative figures for 2014-15 for apprenticeship schemes. The exact schemes that the money will support will be determined by the Welsh Labour Government, in consultation with Plaid Cymru.
In addition, we have today also agreed that in support of research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, £10 million of capital will be allocated over the next two years in support of the creation of a science park led by Bangor University, in collaboration with Aberystwyth University. It is intended that the park will also attract EU and private sector investment. Today’s agreement means that a Budget for the coming financial year can now be set on behalf of the people of Wales.
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