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WALES CAN BE A MODEL FOR EUROPEAN JOB CREATION, SAYS PETER HAIN

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'Europe can learn from our approach to supporting the creation of good quality jobs,' Welsh industry minister Peter...
'Europe can learn from our approach to supporting the creation of good quality jobs,' Welsh industry minister Peter Hain said.

'European regions need to focus on the employment agenda and Wales is in the forefront,' said Mr Hain at the launch of the 'Action for Employment in Wales' report on Monday.

Economic reform and employment issues will be high on the agenda when European leaders come to Wales next week for a summit to mark the end of the UK's presidency of the European Council, he said.

'Private sector businesses - not politicians - create economic activity, wealth and jobs.

'But governments can help by setting up the right institutional framework - improving education and training, helping people back into work, encouraging entrepreneurs and industrial investment and helping people work together in partnership.

'This is already happening in Wales. The National Assembly for Wales will bring a totally new focus to our economic development and provide the bedrock for all of us to move forward together. The revitalised WDA will become a true economic powerhouse.

'Our reforms to education and training will help supply the skilled people that business needs to be competitive and to create wealth and jobs.'

Mr Hain said the Welsh Office was working hard to ensure that all citizens and all parts of Wales participate fully in economic success.

- In the first three months, the new deal saw over 2,000 jobs pledged by employers in Wales.

- A Green Paper will be issued shortly on ways to improve the provision of childcare to enable more parents to work if they wish.

- The WDA and other development bodies are increasing their success in achieving more economic development in areas outside the main growth corridors.

'But much remains to be done. Our GDP per head is still far too low, we have too many people who are not economically active, we fall short on top quality jobs and too many people struggle to find worthwhile jobs.

'So we must not - and will not - be complacent. There is a big task ahead, but one, I believe, Wales can accomplish.'

Notes

The European Council will meet in Cardiff City Hall on June 15 and 16. All member states have produced Employment Action Plans and these will be included in a discussion on economic reform and employment that will take place on the morning of June 15. 'Action for Employment in Wales' sets out the job creation approach in Wales.

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