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Investment in Skills Creates a Wider Opportunity for All


The University of South Wales prides itself on creating graduates who are ‘prepared for the world of work and who are ready to build their careers and succeed’. They also support upskilling of existing employees across a range of sectors and promote graduate start ups across the region.

The Cardiff Capital Region Skills Partnership has been established to bring people together to promote strategic and collaborative decision making. Representatives from business, further and higher education, training providers and government join together to share their knowledge and understanding of the sectors they represent to ensure the region is truly able to respond to a demand led approach to developing skills and talent.

This three-year vision for Employment and Skills across the region has been developed by the (RSP) in consultation with business, education and training providers to inform and influence Welsh Government on its future planning and funding of post 16 learning ensuring a demand led and sustainable skills system which will lead to increased productivity and prosperity across the region.

Skills are often the number one issue and priority for business throughout the development of this plan we have heard that having a well skilled and able labour market ready to embrace the challenges of today and future industry requirements is the prerequisite for most businesses

Dr Francis Cowe, Director FE Partnerships and Degree Apprenticeships at the University of South Wales chats to Business News Wales about how investment in skills creates a wider opportunity for all.

On the skills landscape in Wales, Francis says:

“In terms of individual apprentices or learners, there has never been so much choice or opportunity for individuals to find routes into education, that lead into a profession or career.”

He adds that he thinks one of the challenges in Wales is that “we need to work with employers to plan for the long-term and not just the immediate need.”

 In Dr Francis Cowe’s role, he links directly and meets at least termly with representatives from the other three Universities in the region and the board receives regular updates from the HE Sector

The Cardiff Capital region is home to four Universities; Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of South Wales and The Open University  in Wales and are attended by more than 75,000 students. These universities often have excellent links to industries within the region and many graduates chose to remain in Wales.

Heavy industry such as Manufacturing is at the core of Welsh economy. But for Francis, how vital is it to continue to nurture upcoming talent in these industries?

“It’s important not just to look at heavy industry, but also the supply chain and the cross-cutting skills that are needed. There needs to not only be a focus on the core business but also, digital upskilling, workforce planning and connection to the wider supply chain including start ups and SME’s. “