Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn
Chair – North Wales Economic Ambition Board
Delivering the North Wales Growth Deal and wider Growth Vision is more vital than ever given the challenges facing multiple industries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In past days, our members and partner organisations have been in dialogue with the Welsh and UK Governments and key stakeholders following the devastating news of more than 1,400 jobs losses at the Airbus wing-making plant in Broughton.
As a collective, we are saddened by the announcement and determined to finalise the Growth Deal as soon as possible to begin work on the programmes that will create jobs and boost the region’s economy over the coming decades.
The £240m secured by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board – from both governments – will help us move forward and make progress from 2021 onwards.
That commitment is less than was applied for in the initial Growth Bid but provides an opportunity to position projects and lever much-needed private sector investment.
In the short term, we are working alongside Careers Wales, the North Wales Regional Skills Partnership, Working Wales and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide job seekers with an Opportunity for Change.
This partnership is focused on encouraging people to apply for essential positions in key industries such as health and social care, remote IT work, nursing, administration, transport and logistics and other sectors, and to be on hand with guidance and advice.
These are uncertain and unprecedented times for millions of people across the UK, and many thousands in North Wales, so collaboration and support will continue to be pivotal.
To those whose jobs and livelihoods have been impacted upon by Coronavirus, the message is clear.
To those at Airbus, and its supply chain, businesses in the tourism, hospitality, advanced manufacturing and automotive sectors, and the many other arenas to have been affected in past months.
We are here for you, and we will do all we can to ensure the high-value skills and experience of so many workers aligns with future opportunities in these and the burgeoning areas of renewable energy, low-carbon transport initiatives, digital connectivity