The Institute of Directors in Wales today (April 11th) unveiled a ten-point economic plan, and called on the next Welsh Government to implement it to improve business opportunities in Wales.
Announcing the plan ahead of the May 5 Welsh Assembly elections, the IoD Wales said there was a need to support business and key projects across the whole country.
The ten-point plan has been drafted as a result of a survey of IoD Wales members research, in conjunction with Cardiff Business School, and other member feedback on skills, transport and connectivity and wider issues in Welsh economic policy.
The organisation, which represents more than 700 directors across Wales, called on the Government to be elected next month to deliver on the plan, which comprises:
- Transport: Support for and delivery of major transport infrastructure projects – specifically the M4 relief road at Newport; electrification of the South Wales and North Wales rail lines; improved rail and road links to Manchester and Liverpool cities and airports; improvements to the A55 and increasing airline routes. We are also fully supportive of Cardiff International Airport as it develops routes and opportunities.
- Energy: Support for the Tidal Lagoon schemes and Wylfa Power Station
- Regional Development: Full support for the Cardiff Capital Region and Swansea Bay City Deals, and the North Wales economic region and the reduction of the present number of authorities.
- Cross border engagement: Greater engagement with English regions, especially the ‘Northern Powerhouse.’
- Digital Connectivity: Improved digital connectivity across the country, and in particular,
improved internet speeds and mobile phone reception
- Skills and training: Improvement in general employability skills, and job-specific skill sets in young people to make them more prepared for employment
- Business support: Continued development of Welsh Government business support for existing industries and high growth potential areas such as technology and life sciences, therefore enhancing job creation
- Governance: Greater emphasis on and investment in the skills of directors and senior managers of companies contributing to the Welsh economy
- Improved export opportunities: working with both governments and UKTI on developing real export opportunities, to include further engagement with England’s economy
- Development of Welsh supply chain offering to national and multinational businesses Examples should include technology; food and farming; aerospace and advance manufacturing
The plan has been completed following meetings with IoD members across the country and reflects responses to a members’ survey conducted from within the IoD’s membership across Wales.
John Hurst, Chair of the IoD Wales Policy Committee said:
“We received an overwhelming response from our members to our survey: they are united behind the IoD office in Wales and these outlined objectives.
“Our message to the next Government of this country is simple: Wales needs a stronger, more productive economy.
“The IoD in Wales believes this can be achieved by pressing forward with key infrastructure projects, particularly the M4 relief road, electrification, digital connectivity and by ensuring future generations of workers are fully prepared for the workplace.
“Many of our members suggested improved links and schemes towards meeting local economic needs by ensuring a firm focus on apprenticeships and workforce development.”
IoD Wales director Robert Lloyd Griffiths said:
“This was a detailed and comprehensive survey of members discussing very real concerns and issues from within their day to day business activity.
“We are keen to raise these ten points made by members with a new government as they take office into the Assembly’s new term.
”We have welcomed improved collaboration between business, Welsh Government and local authorities in recent years, but future opportunities may well be lost if this does not continue.
“We have seen collaborative partnership work well in a number of key areas in recent times such as the City Deal programmes in South Wales.
“Our ten-point plan unveiled today is to seek a positive partnership between businesses and Government. These are the areas our members want Government to deliver on in order to create an environment which will enable business to thrive and productivity increase, and in turn, benefit all of Wales.”