Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology
In July my predecessor launched the Welsh Government’s skills implementation plan which set out the action we will be taking over the coming years to deliver our ambition for a competitive and sustainable skills system for Wales.
In line with our published plan of action, I am pleased to announce the publication today of skills performance measures which will guide our work, and the work of stakeholders, as we move forward.
The aim of the skills performance measures is to enable employers, individuals, trade unions and our delivery organisations to recognise the stark challenges that are facing the skills system in Wales and the high level priorities which will be central to improving our prospects as a nation. I hope that all stakeholders will accept a level of unified commitment to the change needed across the skills system over the coming decade.
The measures are focused on ensuring Wales’ skills system remains competitive and sustainable as we move forward. They also recognise that this is not just about what government can and should do in the context of post-19 skills development. It is also about how all stakeholders share responsibility for the skills system in Wales. The measures are focused on the four key goals of:
- Jobs and growth – Improving the rate of employment and productivity levels.
- Financial sustainability – Ensuring an appropriate and sustainable balance of funding is available to support the skills system sourced from government, employers, individuals and European funding
- Equality and equity – Providing equality of opportunity for individuals in accessing post-19 employment and skills support.
- International skills benchmarking – Improving the skills profile of Wales to ensure we remain competitive as a nation.
The skills performance measures will play an important role in enhancing the Welsh Government’s policy of co-investment in skills. We intend to strengthen our measures for tracking employer investment in skills, alongside those made by government, in order to widen the evidence base available on promoting investment in skills development. The measures will also inform the regional employment and skills plans which are being developed by regional skills partnerships.
It is our intention to strengthen the use of the measures within the development, delivery and evaluation of employment and skills policies and programmes, our contractual relationships with suppliers and to inform public sector procurement processes linked to Community Benefits. From April 2015, we will look to review the measures on an annual basis.
I look forward to announcing further updates on progress against our milestones, as detailed in our skills implementation plan, over the coming months.