Two plans, one aim, will it work?

Andrew Beck is twenty one and wants a job.

He thought he had one in the bag while studying computer game design in Newport but when he graduated a year ago, "the economic situation had changed" as he put it. Bang went the job.

Since then he's had his fair share of interviews and what must feel to any bright, willing lad as an unfair share of rejection. It was the usual round of "I didn't have enough work experience or I was over qualified, it took its toll" was how he put it when we met, briefly, this morning.

Living in Varteg near Pontypool, he now describes working in the computer games or web design industry as "a dream job." Any half decent job will do.

So what does he make of the UK Government's Youth Contract, which goes live today?

He "cautiously" likes the sound of the much debated wage incentive scheme, where firms will be paid £2,275 for each 18 - 24 year old they take on for at least 26 weeks via the government's work programme. There is no guarantee of a job at the end of the 6 months, "the only work programme in history" say Labour "which does not guarantee work".

Isn't there a danger the money will disappear into the pockets of firms who'll pay as little as they can to keen young workers before showing them the door?

Yes, that might be true, says Andrew but then again, it might not. It might work. "I'd jump at the chance". He will be one of those asking in the job centre today about any local-ish firms offering subsidised work placements and asking what he needs to do to get one.

What about the extra voluntary work experience places that will be available? Now he looks more sceptical.

He already helps out with elderly people who want a lesson or two in using technology - but that's local. He can afford to get there. Getting much further afield on the money he has in his pocket just to find "an employer that milks you for all you're worth" doesn't look to him like 'a major boost' to his chances of getting a job.

In England and Scotland there'll be sector-based work academies providing pre-employment training and work experience and an apprenticeship wage incentive scheme in England only. The Welsh Government is already taking a different path here - or as they put it, their own 'routeway to work' - and tomorrow we'll learn more.

Carwyn Jones will be heading west to tell Andrew and young people like him about plans in Wales - Jobs Growth Wales - to provide thousands of paid jobs, for 6 months "with the aim of making those posts permanent at the end of the 6-month period".

It is an aim Andrew would support - but it is, of course, only an aim. It is presumably an 'aim' shared by those who champion the Youth Contract scheme.

It goes some of the way towards offering the "real jobs, real wages, a real chance for our young people" that Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged would make up the first line of his budget if Labour were in power - but as Andrew would point out, it doesn't go that crucial last step. A real job.

"It's tough out there" he said this morning. I'll keep in touch and let you know what happens - or doesn't happen.