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Labour’s political incompetence not a good reason to continue European funding

February 17, 2013 2:28 PM

A few weeks ago it was announced that the Welsh Labour Government was considering withdrawing funding from its flagship Genesis scheme after it was found to be failing in meeting its expected outcomes.

The Genesis project was established in Rhondda Cynon Taff in 2002 with a European funding grant of £2.7 million. It was intended to provide help, advice, guidance and support for people looking to access work, training or learning opportunities, thus lowering unemployment and improving economic activity. A major aspect of this was the provision of childcare.

We expressed concern then over the possible effects on Genesis projects and private day nurseries within RCT. In response to a question from Cllr Mike Powell the Cabinet Member for Education said that

"A report will be presented shortly to Cabinet once a final decision regarding the funding of Genesis has been made by the Welsh Government Minister responsible. At that time all members will be updated on any potential consequences or effects on nursery care provision in Rhondda Cynon Taf."

The BBC reports today that the scheme across Wales has created fewer than 800 jobs since its inception.

'The Welsh government hoped Genesis Cymru Wales 2 would help 20,000 people find work or get qualifications. But only around half that number took part and only 7% of them found work

'Documents obtained by BBC Wales' Sunday Politics programme show 10,500 people took part. Of them, 2,186 got qualifications, but by June 2012 only 789 were working at least 16 hours a week as a result of participating.

'Getting people into those jobs cost an average of £44,735 each - the target when the programme began in 2008 was around £13,000-per job'

Genesis was funded by European funding, and its failure has yet again raised questions over the use of this money by the Welsh labour Government.

Carwyn Jones last week complained that Wales would lose out under the latest European deal. He said it will be "deeply unfair" to Wales and that "We are disappointed that the agreement fails to deliver the level of investment in jobs and growth needed in Wales,"

As we said at the time the Labour Government has failed miserably to use European funding to any good effect thus far. What case can it possibly make to argue for more? Political incompetence is hardly a good reason.