Our Skills, Our Future: Collaboration is Key

In October the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership South West and Mid Wales hosted the ‘Our Skills, Our Future: Collaboration is Key’ event, attended by over 140 delegates at the Village Hotel Swansea, where the Regional Employment and Skills Plan was formally launched by Julie James AM, Minister for Skills and Science.

The event was an opportunity for industry, education providers, public sector bodies and policy makers to hear about the most significant challenges and opportunities for the region drawing on the findings from the Skills Plan 2017.

An excellent array of speakers contributed to the successful afternoon. Paul Greenwood, RLSP Chair opened the event with a welcome, setting out the RLSP’s achievements over the last year including; becoming an employer led partnership, the creation of 7 industry sector groups, engagement with over 300 employers and a high level of engagement with learners. Businesses present were encouraged to promote the importance of engaging with the partnership and to support the work being undertaken. Industry chairs were given the opportunity to outline their respective priorities as outlined in the Skills Plan. These chairs will continue to work alongside the RLSP team and board to address the recommendations set out for the next year.

The afternoon’s speakers focused on key challenges highlighted within the plan; Dr Victoria Winckler delivered a lively and engaging presentation on Brexit and what it could mean for our region. Eluned Morgan AM, introduced the new ‘Rural Wales Time to Meet the Challenge 2025’ plan, which highlights the distinctive challenges that the rural economy faces and the importance of the plan in relation to this. Delegates were also given an insight into the transformational Swansea Bay City Deal. Speaking at the event Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council emphasized that the City Deal is the biggest investment to come into South West Wales and it is expected to give the region an uplift in its GVA of £1.8billion and will generate almost 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years. Furthermore, the talk highlighted the 11 projects of the proposal with one being the Skills and Talent initiative led by the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership. The project will ensure that the current and future workforce has the necessary skills to deliver the City Deal proposals.

The key note speech from the Minister for Skills and Science Julie James AM, focused on the importance of apprenticeships, skills at all levels and collaboration and she concluded her speech by officially launching the Regional Employment and Skills Plan 2017.

Organisations were on hand to offer support and guidance to delegates during the networking breaks including: Business Wales, Careers Wales, NTfW, Swansea Bay City Region City Deal, Bevan Foundation and Chwarae Teg. We thank all who contributed to the delivery of a successful event.

RLSP Manager Jane Lewis said, “Building on from the last years plan, the partnership has increased its engagement with a large number of employers. Working with and supporting our partners was and is fundamental to the RLSP and the skills agenda for South West and Mid Wales. We will continue this work over the coming months and look forward to addressing the priorities identified whilst continuing to provide meaningful support to the region and its people. We value the support that we have received from the private sector businesses in the region who have already engaged with the RLSP and hope that new businesses will continue to become involved to have their say in the way that skills are developed in the region.”

Please click here to view the presentations from the event

To download the PDF version of the Employment and Skills Plan South West and Mid Wales, click here