A well attended round table discussion at the Swansea University Bay Campus on February 17th began a major examination of how best to maximise the skills and training needed for the fast expanding green economy in South West Wales.
Topics under discussion at the Skills Round Table at the Bay Campus on Friday, February 17th, chaired by Neath MS Jeremy Miles, included:
- The steps we can take to ensure South West Wales maximises its skills and training base.
- How current skills challenges facing the renewable energy industry can be addressed in the short to medium term, including the development of targeted skills initiatives.
- The steps that need to be taken to bridge longer-term technical skills and training gaps in South West Wales.
The event was attended by politicians, academics and education and industry experts.
Jeremy Miles MS said:
“The rise of renewables in South West Wales and the prospect of developing a supply chain locally for floating offshore wind is an incredibly exciting opportunity for the South West Wales region and Wales generally.”
“This region has a long tradition of partnership working and we now have a real prospect of making this opportunity a reality. What we have done today in discussing the skills mix which will be needed is setting the scene and a key action for us now is to come back together to identify the specific opportunities to collaborate that we need to make this happen”.
The Chief Executive of Neath Port Talbot Council, Karen Jones, added:
“The prospect of a green reindustrialisation of South West Wales is a really exciting prospect. As well as creating around 16,000 new jobs in the region, we also have a real opportunity to protect jobs in the existing manufacturing sector, including the vitally important steel sector and to accelerate the decarbonisation of industry.
“We have already signalled our commitment to this agenda through our Celtic Freeport partnership with Associated British Ports, Pembrokeshire Council and the Port of Milford Haven. A successful Freeport Bid would give us first mover advantage in securing the economic benefits that are available from FLOW and give us the ability to make additional investment in our skills and innovation infrastructure across the region.
The skills round table demonstrated that our wider partners in the region are ready to work with investors to help deliver the UK Government’s vision of 24GW of huge floating offshore wind turbines powering Britain in the Celtic Sea by 2045 and to help Welsh Government achieve its aim for Wales to meet 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2035.
“There is no doubt that there is significant and growing support for this agenda. Not only does this deliver on the governments’ economic and environmental policy objectives, it also ensures a just transition – ensuring people and businesses across the region are able to benefit from the change that is happening.”