Welsh Labour launches Senedd election campaign with pledge to young people

Rod Minchin, PA
·2-min read

The Labour Party is kicking off its Senedd election campaign in Wales with a pledge of a job, a college or university place, training or self-employment for every person under 25.

Labour leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Young Person’s Guarantee would include 125,000 new apprenticeships across Wales.

It is one of six pledges being made by Welsh Labour as the party launches its election campaign with the hope of winning an overall majority in the Senedd for the first time since devolution in 1999.

Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford will launch is party's Senedd election campaign with a pledge to give every under 25 a job, training, a university or college place or self-employment (Ben Birchall/PA)
Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford will launch is party’s Senedd election campaign with a pledge to give every under 25 a job, training, a university or college place or self-employment (Ben Birchall/PA)

Welsh Labour has 29 of 60 seats in the Senedd and has formed an administration with the support of the sole Liberal Democrat MS Kirsty Williams, who is education minister, and independent MS Dafydd Elis-Thomas, as deputy culture minister.

Labour will hope its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic will be seen positively by the electorate, rather than negatively.

It will also be the first election in which 16 and 17-year-olds and legally resident foreign nationals are allowed to vote in Wales.

Speaking ahead of the election launch, Mr Drakeford said: “We will set out six key pledges that will be the bedrock of our manifesto and our plan to keep moving Wales forward.

“Clear and costed promises that will make a real difference to people’s lives.

“For young people, a pledge to stand with them as they face the worst economic crisis we’ve ever seen.”

Mr Drakeford said the Welsh Government had stepped in previously to fund 500 police and community support officers and will increase this number to 600.

“For our communities, a pledge to help keep people and our streets safe,” he said.

“Where the Tories want to cut all 500 of the vital police and community support officers that the Welsh Labour Government funds, we will not only protect them – we’ll fund 100 more.”

He also criticised the Conservatives accusing of them of not acting in the interests of Wales.

“Their solution to every problem in this pandemic? Wales should simply copy England,” he said.

“And Plaid Cymru can’t build that future, either. They haven’t had to make any difficult decisions through these last 12 months and you can see that inexperience bursting through into this election campaign.

“This year it has been one unfunded and undeliverable campaign promise after another.”