Wales

£144m announced for Welsh apprenticeships

Woman apprentice at work Image copyright PA
Image caption First Minister Carwyn Jones will announce the cash for apprenticeships on Thursday

A £144m fund to pay for 52,000 apprenticeships in Wales will be announced on Thursday.

The cash will be spent on schemes across Wales over the next four years.

The majority of places will be targeted at 16-24 year olds and will allow people to earn a wage while learning new skills through training providers in areas including IT and construction.

It is being funded by £73m in EU funding on top of Welsh government money.

Money will be spent on schemes in Conwy, Anglesey, Gwynedd, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen.

Analysis: Business correspondent Brian Meechan

This is a significant sum of money targeted at trying to create a more skilled nation to improve prosperity.

The Welsh government says it will mean keeping the apprenticeship budget at around £90m a year.

The National Training Federation Wales says, in reality, the budget is less than it has been in previous years and the number of apprentices is falling.

Apprenticeships has been a key election issue with the parties promising extra money to create many more in the UK in the next parliament.

This also lets the Welsh government highlight the role of European funds in the economy with EU membership, another significant election issue, though it will do nothing to change the minds of who want the UK to leave.

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