The Bevan Foundation has labelled the Welsh Labour Governmentâ€™s â€œOur Valleys, Our Futureâ€� action plan as â€œblandâ€� and says it â€œlacks ambitionâ€�.
The think-tankâ€™s director said that the Governmentâ€™s target of getting 7,000 more people into work does not mark an improvement on previous employment trends.
Other shortcoming that were highlighted included the lack of local job opportunities for young people, access to public transport, and education support.
Commenting, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Public Services, Mark Isherwood AM, said
â€œDespite representing all but one Valleys seat and controlling five of the seven councils, Welsh Labour have failed to deliver genuine economic improvements in these areas of South Wales.
â€œPeople still feel as if their communities are being hollowed out and that there is the need to move away in order to find decent well-paid jobs.
â€œThis criticism of the Welsh Governmentâ€™s plan by the Bevan Foundation is a very telling sign of how Welsh Labourâ€™s policy agenda is failing to deliver.
â€œOver the last two decades successive Welsh Labour Governmentâ€™s have only brought about cosmetic change and have failed to put in place any practical measures to tackle the Valleyâ€™s underlying structural economic problems.
â€œWelsh Labour have been entrusted with our economy, health service, and schools for nearly 20 years, and yet Wales continue to fall behind in so many areas.â€�