AN EIGHT-POINT Employment and Skills plan has been launched today (Thursday) to prioritise areas for skills investment which will achieve social and economic benefits for the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR).
The plan has been launched by the Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership (LSkIP) South East Wales – the key employment and skills body within the Cardiff Capital Region.
The fundamental goal of the plan is to identify employment and skills priorities over short, medium and long-term periods to develop the social and economic potential of the South-East Wales regional economy.
It is hoped this will lead to a demand-led skills system driven by the needs of industry, delivering employment and skills support.
The plan establishes eight regional priorities that it is believed will shape the success of the CCR over the coming years. These include:
- delivering employment and skills support for industry and infrastructure;
- supporting industry to address skills gaps and shortages;
- developing higher level skills to future proof the workforce;
- increasing the number of apprenticeships;
- improving industry engagement with education;
- improving destination data for better learner outcome;
- developing a regional employability plan; and
- developing succession planning for EU-funded programmes post-Brexit.
Leigh Hughes, Chair, LSkIP Employment and Skills Board, said: “We need to unite as one and build upon the strengths of the region through positive partnership and collaboration to deliver a wide, knowledgeable, diversified and skilled workforce to allow us to grow and prosper.
“No one person or organization can solve the employability and skills demands of the region so we need to break down the ‘silos of self-interest’ and continue to build on the growing relationship between industry, education providers and Welsh Government to deliver future skills that will ensure the South-East Wales economy thrives and grows.”
To deliver its employment and skills aspirations, the £1.2billion CCR City Deal is working through the networks and structures of the already established Learning, Skills and Innovation Partnership (LSkIP) and the Employment and Skills Board.
These structures, hosted by local government and with the support of a wide variety
of stakeholders, are being developed and extended to provide a regional vehicle to
drive and deliver the City Deal employment and skills agenda.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Joint Cabinet Lead for Employment and Skills, Cardiff Capital Region and Leader, Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), said: “I am pleased that both the Skills Partnership and its Employment and Skills Board, of which I am a member, have been adopted as a part of the Cardiff Capital Region structure.
“Our ambition for the CCR City Deal is to deliver a high performing and prosperous region that stimulates and supports regional investment.”
There are several key challenges identified by the plan, including; skills gaps and shortages, qualification levels, apprenticeships, careers advice and guidance, improving learner outcomes, unemployment and economic activity, and Brexit and European funding.
The plan was formally launched at the Cardiff Capital Region Skills Summit in Cardiff Bay.
The event showcased a number of City Deal investments and initiatives, including the Compound Semi-Conductor Cluster, the Metro, and the Cardiff Commitment, offering an insight into the opportunities being created by these developments across City Deal programmes to support innovation, connectivity, education and business.
The CCR Regional Cabinet has already agreed to invest £37.9 million to support the development of a Compound Semiconductor industry cluster in south-east Wales.
The funding is being generated from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal’s Wider Investment Fund – and is the first such investment since the £1.2 billion programme was formally signed by the leaders of the ten local authorities in the region on March 1.
The project is expected to leverage up to £375 million of private sector investment over the next five years, and the creation of up to 2,000 high value, high-tech jobs, with the potential for hundreds more in the wider supply chain and cluster development.