NIA GRIFFITHS MP, Labour’s Shadow Welsh Secretary, has today warned that Wales would lose nearly £800m in funding for jobs and skills training if Britain votes to leave the European Union.
New figures from the House of Commons Library show that Wales is currently receiving nearly £800m of European funding to pay for training, apprenticeships and job-creation schemes like Jobs Growth Wales. This funding would not be renewed in the event of the UK leaving the EU.
Nia Griffith MP said told The Herald: “Thousands of Welsh people have benefited from jobs and apprenticeships which are a direct result of EU funding, and upskilling our workforce is vital if we are to compete effectively in the modern world. We would lose every penny of these funds we vote to leave the EU on Thursday.
“This would have a crippling effect on a whole range of training and apprenticeship programmes, not to mention initiatives like Jobs Growth Wales which has created 15,000 jobs for young people in the last four years alone.
“These vital EU funds are only available to countries that are members of the EU, so voting to leave will cut off support for our young people and harm the whole Welsh economy.”
According to Labour, new analysis by the House of Commons Library has found that Wales will receive €1,006m (£797m) from the European Social Fund between 2014 and 2020. This funding is awarded every four years and is only available to EU member states.
The party says that this funding supports a number of projects to alleviate poverty and create jobs, including Jobs Growth Wales which has provided unemployed young people with a job for 6 months paid at or above the National Minimum Wage.
Jobs Growth Wales has helped 15,000 young people into good-quality, meaningful employment since 2012. Over 80 per cent have completed their opportunities within the private sector.