Policy Forum for Wales

Priorities for employability in Wales: developing and delivering 'Working Wales'

Morning, Wednesday, 22nd November 2017

Park Inn Hotel, Mary Ann Street, Cardiff CF10 2JH


This seminar will focus on the priorities for employability support in Wales as the Welsh Government develops its Employability Delivery Plan ahead of it’s publication at the end of 2017.

The plan will be underpinned by a new ‘Working Wales’ employability offer to be delivered from April 2019, consisting of three programmes focused on reshaping support for all ages, and for those both closer to and furthest from the labour market.

Delegates will consider the challenges for developing a cross-government approach to employability that addresses modern employment practices, and for building on existing commitments to create 100,000 apprenticeships and introduce employment and training hubs in areas of high deprivation.

Further sessions will assess priorities for ensuring effective support across all communities in Wales, including the role of the Valleys as a test bed, with jobs-growth the first priority in the Ministerial Taskforce for the Valley’s Our Valleys, Our Future action plan.

Attendees will also consider the implications of Brexit on the funding of services, with EU Structural Funds set to cease in April 2019, opportunities to improve careers services, and the wider priorities for further developing Wales’ skills system across further education, apprenticeships and lifelong learning.

Guest of Honour

Julie James AM

Minister for Skills and Science, Welsh Government

Guest of Honour

Julie James AM

Minister for Skills and Science, Welsh Government

Keynote Speakers

Fflur Jones

Partner and Head of Employment and HR, Darwin Gray

Graham Bowd

Interim Chief Executive, Careers Wales

Deri Ap Hywel

Deputy Director, Valleys Projects, Welsh Government


Russell George AM

Chair, Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee


Bryan Godsell

Regional Co-ordinating Officer, Unite Wales

Natasha Davies

Policy and Research Lead, Chwarae Teg

Mike James

Chief Executive, Cardiff and Vale College

Senior speaker to be confirmed from Cardiff Metropolitan University

Iwan Thomas

Regional Programme Manager, Skills and Employment, North Wales Economic Ambition Board

Paul Byard

National Director, Wales, EEF

Mair Bell

Senior Research Officer, Public Policy Institute for Wales

Councillor Myfanwy Alexander

Cabinet Member for Education, Powys County Council