The need for improved resilience, enhanced skills and a detailed infrastructure pipeline are what should be the key focus in the upcoming Welsh elections.
Those are the recommendations made by the Institution of Civil Engineering in Wales (ICE Wales Cymru) in its manifesto published today. The manifesto outlines the belief that by investing in Wales’ infrastructure, engineers can build better quality of life for the benefit of the industry, economy and the whole of Welsh society.
The report says that Wales must continue to invest in new and existing infrastructure assets and speed the transition to a zero carbon economy. The right frameworks for identifying, prioritising and planning infrastructure, together with placement of appraisal, financing and funding mechanisms, will create a developed infrastructure system, it says.In the long-term, this system will pay for itself and support sustainable development.
The report suggests that the ongoing development of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan based on this vision is crucial to the delivery of sustainable and effective infrastructure in Wales.
Keith Jones, Director ICE Wales Cymru said:
“There is a proven link between the condition of a country’s economy and its infrastructure. To improve the Welsh economy, investment in the infrastructure of Wales must take place.
“ Ongoing investment will protect the current service levels of infrastructure, ensure that Wales is well-placed to take advantage of greater economic prosperity and also help meet our climate change obligations.
“That is why we are calling on all political parties in Wales to commit to infrastructure during the election and adopt our recommendations”.
The report outlines that ensuring Wales has the right skills in place is a key part of addressing the current productivity lag, improving the delivery of infrastructure and yielding economic growth for the future.
To deliver the skills required it recommends that investment in apprenticeship initiatives must continue with further development of accredited engineering courses in North Wales established and a Skills / Net Zero Carbon Strategy for Wales put in place.
A full copy of the Manifesto (Welsh and English version) is available on the ICE Wales Cymru website https://www.ice.org.uk/about-ice/near-you/uk/wales/publications/manisfesto-for-infra-wales-2021