Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales

Wales has the highest inactivity rate in the UK – with just 68.5% of the population part of the workforce, and figures released just this month show no signs of improvement.

The number of people out of work rose by 4,000, totalling 1,367,000, taking the Welsh unemployment rate to 7%, compared to 5.8% for the UK as a whole.

WalesYouth unemployment a real concern

Alarmingly, youth unemployment continues to grow faster in Wales than across the UK.

Welsh Economy Minister, Eluned Pattot, urged the Government to redouble its efforts to reduce unemployment in Wales.

“We need to address the fundamental problems in our economy.  We need to find out why the unemployment rate is falling significantly faster just over the border in the West Midlands, for example.”

Job creation schemes need to be more targeted and ambitious, especially for the long term unemployed.

Greater collaboration to combat unemployment

This evidence outlines the need for greater collaboration, if Wales is to benefit from the UK’s sustained growth.

Not shying away from getting to the bottom of unappealing unemployment figures, Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb backs his Government.

“We are encouraging enterprise and backing small business.  Only by sticking to our long term economic plan can we continue to strengthen our economy and give more hardworking people in Wales the security of a good job, a regular wage and a better future.”

And education and skill development is at the heart of their solutions.

Improving the standard of education

Recently, the UK’s National Skills Strategy seminar took place, where a number of Welsh education and business experts explained their Government’s role in supporting technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Wales.

And there’s the Colleges Wales Annual Conference – where practitioners and policy makers will focus on education and workforce development in Wales.

Added to that, the Welsh Government recently funded £1.1 million into inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales.  The project offers supportive infrastructure for Welsh students, trainees and apprentices competing at a national and international level – working collaboratively with training providers and employers across Wales.

The project’s key driving force is to instil an ethos for training providers to deliver more than simply qualifications and, instead, deliver skills that are of a world-class standard.  Experiences that build confidence and personal skills in individuals are a core focus.

Wales has the potential to outperform the UK and with job creation a number one priority, Wales is showing signs of recovery.

If you’d like to build skills and workforce strategies for your organisation, sector, or country please contact Wendy Perry via wendy@wpaa.com.au.

January 2016

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