Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology
I am pleased to announce the publication today of the Welsh Government’s framework for co-investment in skills. The framework has been developed to guide and rebalance the responsibility for skills investment in Wales between government and employers. Through the framework our aim is to maximise the pool of resources available to support the delivery of skills and to ensure we develop a competitive edge as a nation in mobilising a productive and skilled workforce.
We are already making progress in working with employers to influence their investment in skills. Between 2011 and 2013, Wales saw total employer expenditure on training increase from £1.5 billion to £1.6 billion. During the same period we have also seen the proportion of the workforce receiving training having risen from 56% in 2011 to 62% in 2013. These are positive signs that we are moving in the right direction and demonstrate the willingness and continued commitment of some employers in Wales to support the skills needs of their workforce.
Despite these achievements there remains more we can do to influence and increase the level of skills investment in Wales. The framework provides the mechanisms for working with stakeholders to challenge those employers who are not currently investing in the skills of their workforce and, where necessary, put in place joint action with employers to influence the supply, demand and quality of skills investment. This will also enable us to lever further resources into the skills system.
The framework identifies those government-led investments which will continue to provide a platform for supporting employers to take the lead in responding to the skills needs of their workforce. These investments highlight the continued commitment of the Welsh Government to support the skills infrastructure in Wales.
In working with employers we want to ensure that the investment being made in skills has the maximum impact on our future prosperity as a nation. To guide this work we will use the framework to review the performance accountability of Welsh Government policies and programmes and ensure that we measure the impact of investment in skills in Wales against the Skills Performance Measures we published on 30th September.
As Welsh Government, we will continue to invest in the employment and skills of people in Wales. As we move forward we also want all employers to recognise their responsibility for investing in the skills of their workforce. This is a long-term challenge which requires cultural change but is something which must be tackled if we are to achieve our key goal: a financially sustainable skills system in Wales over the next decade.