1. ITV Report

Welsh Government unveils plans for £40m spending on apprenticeships

The Welsh Government has set out how it will spend £40m on apprentices over the next two years.

More than 30,000 people signed up for schemes last year, but critics say not enough apprenticeships lead to full-time opportunities.

The plans outlined today include:

  • Creating 5,650 new apprenticeship places
  • An enhanced wage subsidy of £3,900 over 52 weeks for employers taking on young apprentices aged 16-24 through the Young Recruits Programme
  • A one-off payment of £500 for small and micro businesses to cover the time and costs they said were a barrier to recruiting apprentices
  • £3.4m to support people who wish to do apprenticeships in the Welsh language

Shadow Minister for Business, Nick Ramsay, said that although it offered valuable experience he feared the scheme wouldn't lead to full time permanent jobs.

Kirsty Davies is six months into a four-year apprenticeship, training to be a mechanical engineer.

She said that has "always liked being hands on, and I get to gain my qualifications at the same time - so for me it was the best option."

Kirsty is one of 30 apprentices at Welsh Water.

This year's Apprenticeship Week is going on at the moment, with open, taster and advice sessions around Wales.