AMs voice fears at job service age limit
4:40pm Thursday 14th February 2013 in News
A JOBS service backed by the Welsh Government is to be limited to under-25s.
Two Gwent AMs have raised concerns over moves by Careers Wales to withdraw face-to-face job advice for people over the age of 25.
The Welsh Government says it wants to focus the service on helping young people get into education, jobs and training.
Nick Ramsay, Monmouth Tory AM, said he was informed that staff at Careers Wales can now only work with clients under the age of 25. Older adult clients can only access services via email and telephone, excluding people who are within the first six months of redundancy.
Mr Ramsay said people over the age of 25 who are out of work are usually long-term unemployed.
“These people are quite often extremely vulnerable, with little or no confidence in their skills and abilities. The likelihood of them conducting an interview by phone or e-mail is considered highly unlikely, especially clients who are on probation,” he said.
Mr Ramsay said he has asked the Welsh Government to look at the decision again.
Jocelyn Davies, Plaid AM for South Wales East, said the changes would hit adults in prison who need career guidance as they come to the end of their sentence. Ms Davies said: “Long-term unemployment, coupled with changes to the welfare system make it important that careers advice is targeted at all who need it, regardless of age.”
A Welsh Government spokeswoman said officers want the Welsh careers service to have a greater emphasis on getting more young people involved in education, jobs and training.
She added: “Due to budget restrictions the Careers Wales services available to adults over the age of 25 will be limited.
“Employment services for unemployed adults are available via JobcentrePlus, and Careers Wales will also continue to support adults via web and telephone services, with face-to-face services available to those made, or likely to be made redundant.”
She added that its role in prisons will be to support education providers in delivering careers advice as opposed to giving face-to-face guidance.
Funding for Careers Wales has fallen from £38 million in 2011/12 to £36 million in 2012/13 and is set to fall to £30 million for 2013/14.