Regional Partnership Manager,
Regional Skills Partnership of Southwest Groups.
In the heart of Southwest Wales, a region known for its untapped potential, a remarkable transformation is on the horizon.
Jane Lewis, the Regional Partnership Manager for the Regional Skills Partnership of Southwest Groups, reveals the pivotal role of skills development and collaboration in shaping the region's promising future.
Southwest Wales is poised for significant change, and it holds the potential to usher in a new era of growth. The region boasts a skilled workforce ready for upskilling to meet evolving demands and opportunities. With an ideal geographic location and a commitment to nurturing talent from primary to tertiary education, the region is well-positioned to cultivate essential skills, ensuring long-term employment opportunities in emerging sectors.
However, this initiative is not solely about preparing the next generation; it's equally crucial to elevate the existing workforce. By harnessing the potential for skills development, it aims to meet this challenge head-on, securing a legacy for years to come.
Within the area, there are four outstanding colleges, each offering a unique educational experience, all with a shared commitment to sustainability. Furthermore, the two universities and the Open University in the region have been diligently working on green technologies for over a decade, yielding remarkable progress. Complementing these institutions are exceptional private training providers, delivering courses crafted by industry experts. However, Jane underscores the importance of upskilling educators, enabling them to deliver the training required to accelerate the development of both the existing and future workforce.
This endeavour is not confined to the borders of Southwest Wales; it envisions the region as a hub of skills excellence that can extend its influence into neighbouring areas. The ambition is clear: to become a centre of excellence for skills development, with far-reaching implications for the entire region.
The significance of supply chains cannot be understated. The Regional Skills Partnerships and the Skills and Talent Programme of the City Deal are actively engaging with regional businesses to upskill their workforce. This proactive approach ensures that contracts are awarded to local firms equipped with the necessary workforce, reducing the reliance on contractors from other regions. Retaining jobs locally is not only vital for sustaining the regional economy but also for retaining the region's youth, combating the challenges posed by an aging population.
The region is seizing a major opportunity to retain its young population. The diversity of roles it encompasses is staggering, spanning from high-level positions to fabricators, welders, electricians, and even divers. The area is poised to provide a wide range of career opportunities, some of which may not be immediately apparent, such as the need for mechanical expertise on land to maintain offshore installations.
While Southwest Wales has been diligently working on upskilling its workforce, the emphasis remains on ensuring that the residents of the region are the primary beneficiaries of these opportunities. Encouraging individuals to develop skills and stay informed about the forthcoming opportunities is paramount.
In conclusion, the area is standing at the precipice of an exciting future. The region's commitment to skills development and collaboration sets the stage for growth and prosperity, benefiting not just the region but the entire nation of Wales. Jane Lewis's insights shed light on the collaborative efforts underway to ensure that this ambitious vision becomes a reality.