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Written Statement - Public Appointment Process for the Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales

Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food

I am pleased to announce that today I am launching a public appointment process to select the Independent Chair and the four independent members of the new Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales. The Panel is expected to be legally established on 3 February 2016 and will be fully functional shortly after.

The Panel will be established under the Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014 and will be the first body of its kind in Wales. Providing a forum for employer and employee representatives to negotiate agricultural wages orders, the Panel will play a crucial role in setting a framework of fair remuneration and other terms and conditions of agricultural employment. Beyond setting agricultural wages, the Panel will have a wide ranging remit to tackle existing and potential future challenges to the industry. These include encouraging new entrants and promoting careers in agriculture, facilitating increased training opportunities and working with Welsh Government, stakeholder organisations and the industry to create strategic, joined up policies for sustainable and efficient development.

The Panel itself will consist of eleven members in total - three representatives of employers, three representatives of employees, four independent members and an independent Chairperson. Of the four independent members, two will be appointed who have a background in education and two will be appointed who have a background in agriculture. The employee and employer representatives will be selected by their respective unions.

The deadline for applications is Friday 13 November 2015. Person specifications, job descriptions and selection criteria can be found at the following link: https://cymru-wales.tal.net/vx/lang-en-GB/mobile-0/appcentre-3/brand-2/candidate/jobboard/vacancy/7/adv/

The application window for all five independent positions will last three weeks, after which, a sift and interviews will be held to select the most qualified individuals to take a seat on this historic body. My vision is to create a diverse Panel which represents the variety of skills, disciplines, knowledge and abilities which drive Welsh agriculture and is able to meaningfully support the functioning of the industry by facilitating co-operation among the many organisations and people who work within it.

Panel members will serve a term of four years and will be at the very forefront of the sector, playing a vital role in the Welsh Government’s tackling poverty agenda, encouraging the development of an efficient and productive agricultural industry fuelled by a skilled workforce and supporting rural economies and communities across Wales.