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Cael y Cyngor, Mwynhau’r Cymorth, Cofleidio’r Cyfle



Lesley Richards,

Head of Wales,



There’s never been a more important time to help employers and employees acquire the skills they need here in Wales. Every region and community across the country is facing many challenges and opportunities.

In a post-pandemic, post-Brexit world, Skills Gateway for Business is here to help everyone prepare, develop and adapt; identifying and nurturing the skills needed to thrive and prosper in what many are calling the fourth industrial revolution.

Last summer the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales pledged to invest in helping businesses recruit and train up an inclusive workforce – with particular emphasis on improved outcomes for disabled people and the creation of a network of Disabled People’s Employment Champions. We spoke with Lesley Richards, Head of Wales for the CIPD, to find out how Welsh Government programmes are helping Wales skill, upskill and re-skill, to fully realise the potential of every person and every enterprise across the country.

“No one individual or organisation is the same”

“If there’s one thing we learned during the pandemic, it’s that no one organisation or individual is the same – and we need to include absolutely everyone in our push to build back better through sustainable employment and better jobs closer to home. That’s why the ‘We’re In Your Corner’ campaign is so prescient – and not just because it’s targeting priority sectors of agriculture, business services, engineering, manufacturing and retail – but because it highlights the incredible range of training and recruitment programmes available, from Apprenticeships and Traineeships, Access to Work and Employability Skills Programmes, to Personal Learning Accounts, the Wales Union Learning Fund and an In-Work Support Service. All that investment is geared to helping everyone – and we simply have to applaud the initiative, especially given the emphasis on opening access to work for disabled people.

“70% of people can naturally do 70% of jobs with the right training”

“For me, the campaign is doubly encouraging because it’s very much aligned with the training and learning strategy of CIPD Wales. It recognises that 70% of people can naturally do 70% of jobs – so with the right development programmes in place we have the opportunity to bridge the skills gap, drive sustainable employment and improve organisational performance to deliver both economic success and human happiness. All the practical help, advice and on-going support being offered through Skills Gateway couldn’t come at a better time – not just as we start the process of growing a more prosperous economy, but because we need to make sure the pandemic doesn’t leave us with a lost generation.

“Empowering people and preventing a ‘lost generation”

“According to research by Your Voice, there is a clear disconnect between career aspirations and the employment market right now, with the jobs that young people want not there in sufficient quantities. That’s going to be exacerbated by the fact that 20% of current roles are predicted to not be in existence in 2025; and 44% of all of today’s roles will have changed in some fundamental way by that time too. So, someone heading into an apprenticeship today will be emerging into a very different world in 2025 – and the vital work being done by all stakeholders today will make sure that we have the talent pipeline we need for a strong performing economy and a fully engaged workforce.”

For more information on the support available through Skills Gateway, head to We’re in your corner | Business Wales Skills Gateway ( or call 03000 6 03000 to speak with a Business Wales adviser.