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Supporting the Welsh Rural Community to Deliver More


Green Industries Wales, the independent collaboration and discovery network for the green economy in Wales, recently announced its inaugural Hybrid Skills Council meeting, bringing together Wales’ leading organisations and individuals focused on the green skills agenda.

In 2019, Nigel Hollett took up the reins of Director at the Country Land and Business Association in Wales, (CLA Cymru). Nigel lives on the Gower Peninsular. He spent much of his childhood working on family farms where he developed a strong interest in rural affairs. Nigel has previous experience of working in Wales in the former Environment Agency, in the Welsh Government, local government, with universities and with business. He has also worked across the UK, as the Chief Executive of a UK Sector Skills Council, in private consultancy and a variety of skills bodies.

The CLA represents around 30,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses who manage over 10 million acres of rural land in England and Wales. The rural economy contributes some £250 billion to the wider economy.

Nigel Hollett says,

“Performing to its full potential, the Welsh rural economy could deliver even more.”

Nigel chats to Business News Wales about the formation of the Green Skills Council.

He said:

“I think the Green Skills Council is a great idea! What I think that it will really do is bring together the main organisations involved in skills in Wales. For me really, it is joining things up.”

He adds that

“if we can join together to embrace the main problems surrounding climate change, then it will help take things forward.”

Discussing the benefits of the Council, Nigel stresses the importance of engaging the private sector, of which the CLA are a major part.

Aligned to Green Industries Wales’ core objective, this first session took place at 10am on Friday 1st October, with a focus on connecting organisations and individuals to shine the spotlight on existing green skills-based projects, ventures and schemes across Wales – identifying collective challenges and opportunities, exploring areas for knowledge share and collaboration.

With most industry and government experts predicting decarbonisation targets being met through a blended solution of energies – harnessing the power of Biomass, Carbon Capture, Geothermal, Fuel Pumps, Fusion, Hydro, Hydrogen, Solar, Tidal and Wind technologies – question marks remain on the skills and competencies needed to give Wales a future-proofed talent pipeline capable of enabling this green transformation.

The timing of the inaugural Green Skills Council in October could not come at a more pertinent time, following last month’s UN Climate Change Report by the IPCC signalling “code red for humanity” – and ahead of the COP26 Conference in November, which will bring together the nations of the world to work towards common decarbonisation targets.

With major Welsh-based employers such as Airbus, BOC, Costain, DOW, Dwr Cymru and Wales & West Utilities working increasingly closely with academia to find the right way forward in terms of both the energy and human resource – and with government working at all levels to establish a common approach to the future of energy in Wales – the initial findings from this first Hybrid Green Skills Council are sure to inform both debate and action plans, as industry and education begins to shape workforce planning for a Green Wales.

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Business News Wales