Policy Forum for Wales

Next steps for employability in Wales: skills development, the new 'Economic Contract' and preparing for the future

Morning, Thursday, 20th September 2018

Jurys Inn Cardiff, 1 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3DN


This seminar focuses on the next steps for employability policy in Wales.

It will bring together key policymakers and stakeholders to assess the challenges for implementing the Welsh Government’s Employability plan - which outlines its approach to skills development and tackling joblessness - as well as to consider what further action may needed to be taken going forward.

Delegates will examine the Welsh Government’s ‘Economic Contract’ - which will require employers to take responsibility for staff up-skilling, morale and wellbeing - looking at the key issues around employer engagement and uptake, the resources that may need to be put in place to underpin its success, and priorities for supporting the promotion of inclusive working practices.

Attendees will also consider how Wales’ apprenticeships system might better meet the skill needs of key sectors, and examine opportunities for addressing local challenges through the creation of regional plans.

The discussion also takes place as the scheme Communities for Work Plus is launched, with the aim to provide mentoring and support to address barriers to employment, and it will be an opportunity for delegates to look at priorities and potential measures for these and other employment pathways.

In light of obligations laid out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, further sessions will consider what more might be done to future-proof Wales’ skills and employment infrastructure, and ensure it is able to respond to major changes - such as Brexit, work automation, and the shift in Wales towards a greener economy.

Keynote Speaker

Eluned Morgan AM

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning


John Griffiths AM

Chair, Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee and Chair, Cross-Party Group on Further Education (FE) and Future Skills

Russell George AM

Chair, Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee


Jeff Protheroe

Director of Operations, National Training Federation for Wales

Professor Paul Harrison

Interim Dean, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of South Wales

Dr Louise Bright

Director, Research & Business Engagement, University of South Wales

Josie Winter

Clinical Director, Advanced Clinical Solutions

Professor Iain Donnison

Director, BEACON, Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University

Avril Lewis

Managing Director, ESTnet

Iestyn Davies

Chief Executive, ColegauCymru

Sian Cartwright

Head of Learning, Wales TUC

Paul Gray

Chief Executive, Tydfil Training

Gareth Parry

Chief Executive, Remploy

Jane Lewis

Regional Partnership Manager, South West and Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership

Jonathan Martin

Deputy Principal, Merthyr Tydfil College

Professor Andrew Henley

Director of Research Engagement and Impact, Cardiff Business School; Co-Leader, Economic and Social Research Council Productivity Insights Network and Board Member, Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Jenni Edwards

Managing Director, ESC International