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Minister for Skills and Science Julie James has welcomed the publication of the Employer Skills Survey (ESS) 2015.

First published:
23 August 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The ESS provides key information on employer demand for labour, skill deficiencies, levels of investment in training, and workforce development.

The report for Wales, published today, shows an encouraging increase in investment in training.

In 2011 spend per employee and per trainee in Wales was lowest out of the UK nations. This has increased and is now highest in the UK.

The amount invested in training by employers in Wales was £1.6bn in 2011.  This has risen to £2.1bn in 2015.

Minister for Skills and Science Julie James said:

“This shows that employers in Wales are willing to increase investment in their employees’ skills, suggesting they recognise the value of such training.  

“This is a positive message regarding the drive for co-investment.”

The survey shows there remain challenges that need addressing.

The proportion of employers in Wales who provide training has remained relatively unchanged, fluctuating between 62 and 63 per cent since 2011.

There has also been an increase in the number of establishments in Wales experiencing recruitment difficulties due to skill shortages among applicants.

Julie James added: 

“The ESS15 findings suggest buoyancy in the labour market in Wales, with substantial growth in the number of employers active in recruitment. 

“There is evidence of a highly proficient workforce, with the vast majority of establishments reporting they are happy with the expertise of their staff.

“While non-training employers commonly state their workforce is fully proficient, employers should not only consider the skills their employees need now, but those they will need in future. 

“There is a continued need to better communicate the benefits of training to those employers who do not currently train, to convince them it is a worthwhile use of financial and time resources.

“We are committed to tackling the skills shortage, by creating a minimum of 100,000 all-age apprenticeship opportunities to support individuals and to help employers in growing their businesses.”