What it's about

Access Programme

Access aims to provide employability support for unemployed adults who are near to the labour market, helping them to gain the skills and experience needed to gain and retain employment.

You can also benefit from Access by receiving a contribution towards wages (up to £3,000) and help with training costs.

How it works

When you employ a qualifying recruit, we’ll give you up to £3,000 in quarterly instalments for the first 12 months to help cover their wages. We will also pay 50% or up to £1,000 for any job-related skills training needed to bring them up to speed.

Who is eligible

There’s no limit to the number of people you can recruit through Access – the more you take on, the more you save.

The job offered should be for 25 hours a week or more, expected to last at least 12 months and not supported by any other public or European funding. Also, your business must not have reached the 'de minimis' threshold for State Aid rules.

Where a new employee is employed on a part-time basis for between 16 and 24 hours per week, the wage subsidy will be paid at a rate of 50% of that shown above.

The person you wish to recruit should be over 18 years of age, unemployed (but not more than 2 years unemployed) and live within the south Wales valleys taskforce area, which includes the council authorities of:

  • Blaenau Gwent;
  • Bridgend;
  • Caerphilly;
  • Carmarthenshire;
  • Merthyr Tydfil;
  • Neath Port Talbot;
  • Rhondda Cynon Taff;
  • Swansea;
  • Torfaen.

The job must also be available as a result of business expansion, or the need to replace a member of staff who has left. Funding is not available for existing employees who are moving between internal posts. Other conditions apply.

The recruit will be disqualified from the scheme if they start working for you before your application for funding has been approved.

For the job-related training grant please be aware that if your organisation is registered for VAT the maximum grant to support external, job-related training will amount to 50% of the cost net of VAT but will not exceed £1,000 as long as the recruit is still working after 26 weeks. Claims for payment can only be made once the training has been completed. The amount paid will be based on the costs paid for the training, in line with the conditions outlined in the Guidance Notes.

What’s in it for you

  • improve your productivity and competitiveness through recruiting quality staff
  • get funding support for further training to sharpen the skills of new recruits
  • reduce your staffing costs
  • boost your working capital
  • lower overheads and increase profit

How do I get involved?

To apply for Access support please read the Guidance Notes and then print-off and complete the Employer Recruitment and Training Support Application Form.

Please send the completed application form to the Welsh Government Access team at:

Access Team
Welsh Government
Ty’r Afon
CF83 8WT

If you have any queries related to the application form please call the Welsh Government’s Access Team on 03000 259 037.

If you have any general queries about the Access programme please call the Business Wales Helpline on 03000 6 03000 or contact us.

Welsh Government privacy notice

Programme Checklist
Delivery Area Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, Torfaen.
Status  Live
Supported by the European Social Fund? No
Programme Lead

Welsh Government