A cross-border response, involving Welsh Government and its partners, to support the Airbus workforce and wider supply chain is well underway, Minister for Economy and North Wales Ken Skates said today.
The first meeting of the Regional Employment Response Group, established by the Minister, has taken place this week involving Airbus, the supply chain, trade unions, key partners and agencies from North Wales and the Mersey Dee area to ensure the rapid and effective deployment of support required.
The group will provide an oversight of the labour market, drive improved collaborative working and facilitate an inclusive regional response by using existing programmes to create more and better employment opportunities locally.
Plans are progressing for a manufacturing summit with a focus on North Wales in the coming weeks.
The Welsh Government, along with the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, have written to the UK Government asking it to convene an Aerospace task force to support workers and communities at risk.
Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates said:
“We are all aware of the catastrophic effect the COVID-19 outbreak is having on the aerospace sector, and the devastating impact it is having on the industry in North East Wales.
“Our response is based on collaboration. Building on the extremely close working relationship the Welsh Government enjoys with partners in North Wales and across the wider Mersey Dee area. We are utilising the multi-agency Regional Employment Response Group to enable us to work jointly and coordinate efforts to support the Airbus workforce and the wider supply chain.
“I am pleased this group has already met and I’d like to thank all partners for working constructively together. The group has a pivotal role to play in drawing intelligence across the region, working closely with partners to deploy support in terms of skills and jobs.
“We have strong partnerships in North Wales and across the border and these have never been more important. We are also working with the UK Government as this is a global issue which requires action on a UK-wide level, which we will continue to press for.
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Chair of the Mersey Dee Alliance and Leader of Wrexham County Borough Council said:
“The MDA congratulates the Minister for his rapid response to the devastating news from Airbus and we were very pleased to be a key partner in the first Regional Employment Response Group meeting. We will endeavour to support the aerospace sector as an important part of the wider cross border economy. We look forward to working with Governments in both Cardiff and Westminster to secure future investment for the cross border area.