Welsh Conservatives announce plans to help young carers stay in education and training | Ceidwadwyr Cymreig yn cyhoeddi cynlluniau i helpu gofalwyr ifanc i aros mewn addysg a hyfforddiant

Welsh Conservatives have announced plans for a new grant to help address the financial pressures that force many young adult carers to drop out of education and training.

At present, young adult carers fall foul of the so-called 21-hour rule, which means that they cannot study on a course exceeding 21 hours per week and still claim carers’ allowance of £62.70 per week.

It has prompted young adult carers from Carmarthenshire to campaign for a change in the rules which state that to be eligible for carers’ allowance an individual must be over 16 and care for someone for at least 35 hours a week.

But Welsh Conservatives argue that the 35 hour threshold can be achieved through overnight care, and on weekends – particularly where the carer is supporting a family member in the same household. Young carers also say that, when caring for someone with poor mental health, they can, on occasions, offer appropriate support by phone or text without having to leave their college or work placement.

Welsh Conservatives are launching the new policy in Llanelli, in association with Carmarthen Carers Trust (Carmarthenshire Crossroads Care).

Shadow Social Services Secretary – Suzy Davies – backs the Young Adult Carers’ campaign to change the rules on carers’ allowance. In the meantime, she is using devolved powers to launch a new grant for young adult carers to help support their ambition to stay in education or apprenticeships.

Commenting on the plans, she said: “Young adult carers shouldn’t have to drop out of part or full time education, or apprenticeship opportunities, just because they have caring responsibilities.

“Our young adult carers are true heroes, undervalued even though they keep families together and take the strain of looking after vulnerable family members.

“If we can help them keep up with the continuing education or apprenticeships they may need to plan for their own futures, then we absolutely should.

“The Young Adult Carers Futures Grant means that they wouldn’t have to worry about losing their carers allowance just because they wanted to continue in education.  it will help give young adult carers access to vital opportunities that they often miss out on through no fault of their own.”

The Young Adult Carers Grant would give young adult carers, who lose their care allowance, £60 a week to enable them to enter full time education and training.

This combined with the young person’s Green Card – for free or subsidised travel – targets those who are determined to progress their career development but face barriers which are not of their own making, and which cannot be overcome in any other way.

 

Mae’r Ceidwadwyr Cymreig wedi cyhoeddi cynlluniau am grant newydd i helpu i leddfu’r pwysau ariannol sy’n gorfodi llawr o oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr i roi’r gorau i addysg a hyfforddiant.

Ar hyn o bryd, mae oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr yn gaeth i’r rheol 21 awr, sy’n golygu na allan nhw astudio ar gwrs am fwy na 21 awr yr wythnos a pharhau i hawlio lwfans gofalwyr o £62.70 yr wythnos.

Mae hyn wedi ysgogi oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr o Sir Gâr i ymgyrchu dros newid y rheolau sy’n dweud bod rhaid i unigolyn fod dros 16 oed ac yn gofalu am rywun o leiaf 35 awr yr wythnos er mwyn gallu hawlio lwfans gofalwyr.

Ond mae’r Ceidwadwyr Cymreig yn dadlau bod modd cwrdd â’r trothwy 35 awr drwy ofalu dros nos ac ar benwythnosau – yn enwedig os yw’r gofalwr yn cynorthwyo aelod o’r teulu o dan yr un to. Mae gofalwyr ifanc yn dweud hefyd, wrth ofalu am rywun ag iechyd meddwl gwael, weithiau mae’n bosib rhoi’r cymorth sydd ei angen dros y ffôn neu mewn neges destun heb orfod gadael y coleg neu’r lleoliad gwaith.

Mae’r Ceidwadwyr Cymreig yn lansio’r polisi newydd yn Llanelli, ar y cyd ag Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr Caerfyrddin (Gofal Croesffyrdd Sir Gâr).

Mae Suzy Davies, Ysgrifennydd Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol yr Wrthblaid, yn cefnogi ymgyrch yr oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr i newid y rheolau ar gyfer y lwfans gofalwyr. Yn y cyfamser, mae’n defnyddio pwerau wedi’u datganoli i lansio grant newydd ar gyfer oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr i’w helpu gyda’u huchelgais i barhau â’u haddysg neu brentisiaeth.

Wrth sôn am y cynlluniau, meddai: “Ddylai oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr ddim gorfod rhoi’r gorau i addysg ran-amser neu lawn amser, neu brentisiaethau, oherwydd eu cyfrifoldebau gofalu.

“Mae ein hoedolion ifanc sy’n gofalu yn arwyr yng ngwir ystyr y gair, a dydyn nhw ddim yn cael eu gwerthfawrogi ddigon er eu bod yn cadw teuluoedd gyda’i gilydd ac yn ysgwyddo’r straen o ofalu am berthnasau bregus.

“Os gallwn ni eu cynorthwyo i barhau â’u haddysg neu eu prentisiaethau er mwyn gallu cynllunio at eu dyfodol nhw’u hunain, fe ddylem ni wneud hynny heb os.

“Byddai Grant Dyfodol Oedolion Ifanc sy’n Ofalwyr yn golygu nad oes raid iddyn nhw boeni am golli eu lwfans gofalwyr am eu bod eisiau parhau â’u haddysg. Bydd yn helpu oedolion ifanc sy’n ofalwyr i allu manteision ar gyfleoedd hollbwysig y maen nhw’n colli allan arnyn nhw’n aml am resymau y tu hwnt i’w rheolaeth.”

Byddai’r Grant i Oedolion Ifanc sy’n Ofalwyr yn rhoi £60 yr wythnos i’r rheini sy’n colli eu lwfans gofalwyr fel y gallan nhw gymryd rhan mewn addysg a hyfforddiant llawn amser.

Mae’r grant hwn, ynghyd â’r Cerdyn Gwyrdd i bobl ifanc allu teithio am ddim neu am bris rhatach, yn targedu’r rheini sy’n benderfynol o ddatblygu gyrfa ond sy’n wynebu rhwystrau sydd y tu hwnt i’w rheolaeth ac na ellir eu goresgyn mewn unrhyw fodd arall.

Suzy Davies AM/AC  

Suzy Davies AM/AC