CCRSP informing Welsh Government’s COVID-19 pathway to recovery
The Cardiff Capital Region Skills Partnership (CCRSP) fulfils the role of the RSP across South East Wales and covers 10 Local Authority areas. The CCRSP is tasked by Welsh Government to produce and analyse labour market intelligence, advise on future prioritisation of skills funding and represent regional interests when informing a demand-led skills system.
Through an agreed programme of work, and linked to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the CCRSP has recently engaged with employers and stakeholders in an attempt to better understand the skills related impact of the virus across the SE Wales region. Soft intelligence has been gathered which has informed bi-monthly reports that have been submitted to Welsh Government, and these are being used to inform the pathway to recovery.
Through the work, it has been reported that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the economy and the skills agenda since the outbreak began around January 2020, although certain sectors have been hit harder than others. To elaborate, Advanced Materials & Manufacturing as a broad sector is experiencing major challenges, particularly within the Aerospace and Automotive sub sectors and its SMEs. Given the discontinuation of production, the Creative sector has also experienced significant impact and the sectors underpinning the foundational economy, including hospitality, retail and tourism are experiencing well-documented challenges. With focus on Construction and Digital Enabling Technology, the position appears to vary; some businesses are experiencing significant challenges whereas others only report shorter-term disruption.
Along with the reported growth within health and social care, the limited impact within the Compound Semi-conductor sector stands out. Here, productivity decreased in the early stages for some businesses but then customer demand for products ramped up and seems to have prevented shortfalls. This, along with the need for high-speed connectivity and medical technology could act as a catalyst for future growth. With focus on Digital Technology, the need for Cyber Security has grown as businesses have realised frailties with the shift to home working.
For many businesses, learning and development has initially been scaled back with a focus on blended learning for essential training. With focus on Apprenticeships, there appears to be strong commitment from employers to successfully complete learning but there is recognition that difficulties have been presented for competency based elements. Future Apprenticeship recruitment could be challenging; particularly within traditional routes.
More recently, and on the 18th November, the CCRSP were also invited to the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee at the Welsh Parliament and contributed to their inquiry into Regional Skills Partnerships: Covid Responses and Recovery.
For more information on any of these developments contact: RegionalSkillsPartnership@newport.gov.uk.