Foundational Economy drives change during virus outbreak
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.
The Employment and Skills Board drive the work of the CCRSP, and here, representatives from business and providers of education and training come together to share their knowledge and understanding of the sectors they represent to ensure the region is well placed to respond to skills-related challenges.
The CCRSP has produced an Employment and Skills Plan 2019-22 as a three-year vision for the region, which has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders across Wales. The plan is currently being used to inform and influence Welsh Government on its planning and funding of post 16 learning to help ensure a demand-led skills system and to increase productivity and prosperity across the region.
The CCRSP has also supported the development of a broad range of priority sector groups across the region who have played a significant role in shaping the Employment and Skills Plan. These cluster groups are taking a strategic lead in the delivery of key actions and recommendations on a sector level.
The Foundational Economy cluster group includes representatives from education, health, social care, childcare and the emergency services who are all playing a very significant role in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Grant Santos, CEO of the Educ8 Group and chair of the CCRSP Foundational Economy cluster group, states that “members of the group employ staff who have been operating on the front line during the outbreak of the virus; staff who continually put their own lives in danger to ensure the health of the nation and help minimise the impact on the Welsh economy”.
The cluster group has also remained aware of the importance of recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce at this difficult time and have been utilising technology to ensure virtual meetings take place and important actions and recommendations are progressed. As specific examples, Social Care Wales have been working hard to raise the profile of the health and social care sector and on the back of the ‘We Care Wales’ national campaign, which aims to recruit thousands more people to work in caring roles with adults and children. Grant Santos suggests that, “The campaign will be fundamental if the sector is to keep pace with the growing demand for care services and provide support for communities across the country”.
With specific focus on the Apprenticeship landscape, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) continue to support access to all-age Apprenticeships across the health sector. HEIW are currently working on new frameworks at level 4/5, which could be out for consultation as soon as September. Similarly, the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service have been working on a new Firefighter Apprenticeship, which will see around 12 learners recruited in September, and are also driving the development of a Level 4 Fire Inspection and Engineering Framework specifically for Wales.
Finally, the Education Workforce Council (EWC) have been working to promote teaching as an attractive and viable career and will be developing a new digital platform in an attempt to significantly increase the number and quality of teachers applying for jobs in Wales.
For more information on any of these developments contact: RegionalSkillsPartnership@newport.gov.uk.