A SCHEME helping people in Wales struggling to find work, which was previously backed by European Union funding, will be expanded in 2023.

The Welsh Government has announced it will fund the expansion of the Communities for Work Plus – or CfW+ - scheme, despite EU funding for the project coming to an end.

According to the Welsh Government, £135 million has been invested into the Communities for Work and Parents, Childcare and Employment schemes since 2015 through EU structural funds, with more than 17,500 helped into employment.

However, the Welsh Government has said the post-Brexit Shared Prosperity Fund – which is controlled by the UK Government - will mean funding for these services will be “dramatically diminished”.

But, despite this, Wales’ economy minister Vaughan Gething has said the Welsh Government will fund the expansion of the CfW+ programme from April 2023, including doubling its original £12 million annual budget.

Mr Gething said: “Despite the promise made by the UK Government that Wales would not be worse off from the UK leaving the EU, the reality is we are facing a loss of more than £1 billion in un-replaced funding.

“The Welsh Government cannot fill the massive hole the UK Government has created in the Welsh budget, which means we and our Welsh partners - who have previously benefited from EU funding - will need to take tough decisions on what to fund in future.”

Saying “this Welsh Government is determined to help people into and remain in good quality jobs”, he added: “By funding this expansion of Communities for Work + and focussing on people who are under-represented in the labour market and those who face disadvantage and inequity in accessing work, we will create a more equal Wales - a society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances.

“While UK ministers talk about “levelling up” the UK, it’s this Welsh Government that’s delivering for people across Wales by funding transformative programmes that help to change their lives for the better.”

More details on the programme will be announced at a date to be confirmed.