Welsh Government £36m back-to-work scheme failure
It has been finally announced that a failing £36m back-to-work scheme is to be wound up. The under-performing ‘Genesis Cymru Wales 2’ which was launched at the beginning of the financial crisis was supposed to help 20,000 individuals get back into work or gain the qualifications needed.
The programme run by local councils and funded by the EU was supposed to help those who had difficulty finding work, but as the BBC highlighted in February, only around half of the initial target of 20,000 participated in the scheme, and only 789 people found jobs where they were working for at least sixteen hours a week.
The fund which initially had £67 million set aside was intended to run until 2014 but after five years, a review, and £36m spent, it was thought that it should be concluded early with a phased closure starting from July. What is truly shocking about this waste and poor governance is that each job created cost a total of £44,735 instead of the intended £13,000 per job.
Jeff Cuthbert, the Deputy Skills Minster in the Welsh Government, said that lessons will be learnt from this and will inform the way they deliver future adult employment and skills programmes in Wales. From a business owners point of view though, this £36m could have been better invested in creating a positive business environment such as a freeze on business rates, or grants for start-up businesses that would have really helped boost employment.
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