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Jeff Cuthbert, Deputy Minister for Skills

First published:
28 February 2013
Last updated:

This was published under the 2011 to 2016 administration of the Welsh Government


I am pleased to inform you of the publication of the National Strategic Skills Audit for Wales (NSSAW) 2012.  The analysis has been prepared as part of an ongoing project to develop and improve labour market intelligence. Skills are a key driver of productivity. Improving the information on, and analysis of, skills supply and demand, and seeking to better understand the forces shaping the labour market support the ambition of the Welsh Government to maximise economic performance and encourage the generation of business success.  This report contributes to the ongoing development of a labour market needs-led approach to skills development: one that I am pleased to say promotes the current demand to be effectively met by the skills system and encourages that future demands are identified, anticipated, shaped and stimulated.  The NSSAW 2012 report highlights the occupations and sectors where most attention is required to ensure that Wales has the essential skills to meet the emerging labour market demands of today and likely future changes in employment patterns.

In November 2012 I announced the publication of two specific Wales reports produced by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills which have provided strong and relevant foundations for this NSSAW 2012 report:


  • Working Futures 2010-2020: Summary Report for Wales; and
  • Employer Skills Survey 2011: Wales National Report.


The UKCES advise that, as with all projections and forecasts, the results presented in Working Futures 2010-2020 (and reproduced in NSSAW 2012) should be regarded as indicative of likely trends and orders of magnitude given a continuation of past patterns of behaviour and performance, rather than precise forecasts of the future.  

A key element of the NSSAW 2012 involves identifying strategic priorities for skills, both today and in the future to help address the provision of current and future skills for the economy, the Government's economic initiatives and particular sectors/regions.  The key features identified within the report include:



  • Increasing skill demands and job volumes for corporate manager roles, primarily in the  wholesale/retail and health and social care sectors.
  • Need to improve management capability in exploitation of technology to optimise business benefits across a range of sectors.



  • Continued high demand for teaching professionals in the education sector. 
  • High demand for health professionals (primarily medical practitioners).


Skilled trades

  • Continued demand for workers in skilled construction/building trades, metal, electrical and electronic trades.  Projections suggest a likely net decline for skilled metal trades and textiles but significant replacement demands across all skilled trades occupations.


Care occupations

  • Growing demand for caring and personal service occupations including care assistants.


Three key cross-cutting skills are also identified:


  • Skills to support energy efficiency, reduce material consumption and improve resource utilisation in low carbon economy.
  • Employability and basic skills (team working, problem solving, communication, literacy, numeracy).
  • Welsh language skills.


I will ensure that this NSSAW 2012 is used as evidence to aid informed decision making by individuals, employers, education and training providers as well as careers and skills advisors and policy makers.  I also hope that it will assist in engaging stakeholders in dialogue with the Welsh Government and with each other.

Further detail on the action areas can be found in the report online.

If you require further information with respect to the National Strategic Skills Audit for Wales 2012 or the Welsh Government LMI Project, please contact