YOUNG people in Newport helped mark the city’s success in a national scheme which has helped more than 400 local youngsters find work.

Locals who have benefited from the Future Jobs Fund project were at Malpas Court to celebrate the 18-month scheme, which has created employment for 472 youngsters in the city.

Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews also helped mark the achievements of the project.

The £1billion Department for Work and Pensions scheme aimed to provide at least six months’ employment for 18 to 24-year-olds who had been out of work for six months or more.

Newport council was awarded just over £3million for its bid into the project creating the Newport Future Jobs Fund partnership which saw more than 30 public, private, voluntary and community sectors help provide employment opportunities.

From the 472 people who were provided with temporary employment, half went on to find further jobs while another 30 per cent moved into further education or training.

One of those who benefited was Evanique Green, 22, of Somerton, Newport. She started working on the reception desk at Malpas Court where the social enterprise is run.

After six months, she was then taken on permanently.

She is also now being trained in business through her work and hopes this will lead to further career opportunities.

She said: “It has been a fantastic learning curve.”

Mr Andrews said: “These jobs were crucial in helping young people gain the work experience needed to find work or enter into education or training.”

He said he hoped Newport would benefit just as much from Welsh Labour’s Welsh Jobs Fund which will be formally announced next month. This aims to provide 4,000 young people across the country with six-month placements paid at least minimum wage for 25 hours a week.