Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip
I welcome the report published today by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action entitled ‘Empowering Communities in the context of Brexit’, which identifies potential impacts of Brexit on our communities, the services provided to them, and the third sector organisations that deliver many of these services.
The Third Sector in Wales provides a wide range of services to some of Wales’ most vulnerable people and communities. We hear from the world of business about the impact that the uncertainty created by Brexit will have on them, but this is also true for the Third Sector. It influences their ability to plan, to budget and to recruit and retain staff.
This report begins to set out the breadth and depth the impact leaving the European Union could have on families and communities. We must work together to support and increase the sector’s resilience to the impacts of Brexit. We can achieve this by using the different approaches identified in the report and by working collectively towards a common aim.
By working with our partners and key stakeholders, like the Wales Civil Society Forum on Brexit, we can enable and encourage organisations to see opportunities and to move forwards in a positive way; thinking, planning and working in new ways for the ultimate benefit of people and communities around Wales.
As a responsible government our Brexit planning is intensifying and we will continue to plan for all possible outcomes, despite the current backdrop of uncertainty.
This is why we will be supporting the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, through our £50 million European Transition Funding, to develop a bilingual online portal to support Third Sector organisations. Enabling them to access the knowledge and skills they need to build their resilience post-Brexit and support their sustainable growth. The portal will also act as an engagement tool to build greater sustainable networks between local government, regional bodies, private sector and the Third Sector. This will not only benefit the Third Sector but those dependent on their services and our communities.