With so many unemployed people having to overcome hidden barriers as they look to enter the labour market, the Welsh Government have confirmed that over 1,100 over them have been helped by a government grant scheme.
The Welsh Government’s Barriers to Start-up Grant was established specifically by the Welsh Government to help economically inactive and unemployed individuals over the age of 25 to start up their own business. The grant targets those who are facing barriers to entering the employment market by offering services including advice, webinars to build confidence, and developing plans.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said at the beginning of Global Entrepreneurship Week:
“The Welsh Government is determined to create a fairer and more prosperous Wales, where people are supported to fulfil their true potential.
“We are working hard to create good-quality jobs in communities across Wales. That includes supporting people into work, regardless of their individual circumstances or the barriers they face to employment.
“We are also focused on supporting more people to start their own business, fostering an even more vibrant SME sector, and prioritising enterprises built on sustainability and the industries and services of tomorrow.
“I am delighted this grant initiative has already helped so many people, including those form groups under-represented in the labour market, and those in and out of work with long term health conditions.”
As the Welsh Government aim to eradicate the gap between the employment rate in Wales and the rest of the UK by 2050, this fund will support that goal whilst also putting considerable emphasis on fair work and raising participation in the labour market by under-represented groups. This second focus is backed up by fact that, in the latest phase of the scheme, 57% of the successful applicants were female, 26% were disabled and 13% identified themselves as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.
Alongside this funding, the Economy Minister has also approved funding of £5 million over three years to provide support to young people who are getting into self-employment, by way of advice and financial support. This will deliver on the Young Person’s Guarantee.