£4.5 million funding for Flexible Skills Programme

THE Welsh Government is providing £4.5 million to develop the skills-base of businesses and create a Welsh workforce ready to capitalise on future economic opportunities, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has announced today.

The Flexible Skills Programme (FSP), which started in 2015, provides targeted skills interventions alongside existing programmes, or where Welsh Government support is required for a specific business project.

The programme operates on a co-investment basis which means employers have to match fund Welsh Government support; this will see a total of £9 million invested in the Welsh economy.

The programme is being funded for a further three years. It operates across Wales and is open to all employers across two streams:

The Business Development stream supports significant employer-led projects which have a focus on upskilling the workforce. Airbus Broughton is leading the decarbonisation of the aerospace sector with support from this strand. The Airbus ZEROe programme will build the world’s first emissions-free airliner by 2035. This move to green aircraft design and manufacture requires employees to develop the new green skills the economy of the future will require; and

The Partnership Project stream aims to drive Wales’ wider skills economy by enabling a group of employers or representative bodies to help Wales overcome a skills challenge or develop the skills needed to drive future economic development. Five partnership projects approved in the last year included the development of projects for the tourism and hospitality, engineering and manufacturing, creative industry, digital and exporting sectors.

The FSP benefits employees by helping them develop more technical and transferrable skills as a result of Welsh Government investment. This supports the Welsh Government’s ambition for reducing in-work poverty by raising the skill sets of the current workforce in Wales.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said:

“Supporting Welsh businesses to adapt, grow their workforce and develop skills is essential to our ambitions for a more prosperous Welsh economy post-pandemic.

We have set out a clear vision for a fairer and more equal Wales, where we work to ensure nobody is left behind or held back, and with a commitment to changing people’s lives for the better.

The programme supports our Plan for Employability and Skills and further drives workforce diversity, making the most of our talent in Wales, and shaping an economy that works for everyone.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown us the importance of being flexible and resilient in the face of immensely challenging situations. This important programme will also help future proof our talented Welsh workforce.”

Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com
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