The Welsh Government has been accused of papering over the cracks after a U-turn on cuts to apprenticeship funding.

Vaughan Gething confirmed £5.25m has been restored to the 2024-25 apprenticeship budget, taking overall investment to more than £143m a year.

However, Wales’ economy minister warned the loss of former EU funding means there will still be an impact on apprenticeships.

Mr Gething said this will be compounded by a UK Government decision to prevent councils from using replacement funds to support Wales-wide programmes.

Paul Davies, the Conservatives’ shadow minister, described the statement on 27 February as a disappointing attempt to paper over the cracks.

He said: “Three weeks ago, the minister promised lots of positivity in today's statement, but in reality this statement is straight out of the Alastair Campbell school of spin.”

Mr Davies warned the three aims of the policy statement are meaningless if the sector does not have enough funding in the medium and longer term.

“The reality is the sector will still receive a significant cut to its budget,” he said.  “Rather than a cut of £17.5m, the sector is now facing a cut of £12.25m … That's hardly positive, is it?”