In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
29 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Challenges Facing Manufacturing in Wales in the Light of Panasonic’s Announcement of Proposed Job Losses
On Friday 23 January, staff at Panasonic's plant in Pentwyn were notified of a proposal to transfer television and set box units to the Czech Republic with the loss of up to 600 jobs. The company blames this on continual global market pressures. Panasonic considers that it is unable to continue competitively producing set top boxes and using cathode ray tube televisions, thus the proposal to transfer production to its sister plant in the Czech Republic. Consumers are increasingly buying plasma screens and liquid crystal display televisions, and the cathode ray tube televisions produced at Pentwyn are now commodity items. Prices need to be keenly competitive, margins are low, and Panasonic believes that it has little choice but to look to lower-cost production centres.
The plan is for the move to the Czech Republic to be completed by the end of this calendar year. There are currently around 1,300 staff at Pentwyn of which around 300 are temporary staff. The announcement does not affect Panasonic's research and development centre and its production of microwaves and laptops at Pentwyn. Over recent years, there has been a shift of focus from volume manufacturing at Pentwyn towards research and development. The Pentwyn plant is now Panasonic's leading research and development centre in Europe and has 130 employees working exclusively on research and development. Pentwyn is also the marketing arm for Matsushita in Europe.
The thoughts of all Assembly Members will be with those who are employed at Panasonic, and their families, at this difficult and uncertain time. The Assembly Government has been a strong and active supporter of Panasonic, with the Pentwyn plant receiving regional selective assistance totalling £6.7 million. We will provide all possible support and assistance following Friday's announcement. The WDA, on our behalf, has been in regular and close contact with the company in order to gain an understanding of its business needs and the pressures that it faces. The Pentwyn plant is just outside the assisted area and, therefore, it is not possible to secure further new RSA supporting investment to balance the Czech Republic's advantage in terms of costs. An existing RSA offer to the company remains valid, and we are exploring whether Panasonic plan investment that could be supported by this offer.
In December 2003, claimant count unemployment in Cardiff stood at 4 per cent for men and 1 per cent for women. Over the year to December, the number of unemployed people claiming benefits fell by over 10 per cent. If job losses are confirmed, which would be regrettable, Team Wales and Jobcentre Plus will work closely with the company and the unions to help staff affected by the closure to find new jobs or to develop skills that are in demand in the local buoyant economy. My officials are meeting company representatives tomorrow and arrangements are in hand for me to meet Panasonic's European director to discuss the situation in more detail.
I wish to refer to some of the general challenges that the electronics sector faces in these challenging times for the sector. The Government, all those engaged in manufacturing, and I understand the challenge of global competition. 'A Winning Wales' underlines the Assembly Government's clear understanding of those global pressures and recognises that Wales simply cannot compete with emerging industrial nations on the basis of cost alone. That is why we have put a clear emphasis on driving innovation and research and development towards a future based on higher value-added products and processes.
This strategy applies to the manufacturing sector and call centres. We have to work smarter. The Assembly Government is committed to playing its full part, alongside industry, in tackling the challenges that we face. We stand the greatest chance of success in maintaining an effective partnership approach. The Assembly Government, the WDA and Education and Learning Wales are working with the technology industry in Wales to promote its international competitiveness. The technology industry strategy, which the Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning and I will launch on 4 February, builds on the dialogue between Welsh technology businesses and the public sector. It is the start of the process that will lead to the development of a lasting, world-class public-private partnership.
We will continue to use a range of programmes to assist manufacturing. The Assembly Government's own regional selective assistance fund involved offers to 233 companies in 2002-03, and of these, the vast majority-139, or 60 per cent-were in manufacturing. Those grants are supporting indigenous companies and innovative, high-value-added inward investors such as Cogent, General Dynamics and International Rectifier. Through the WDA, we also have a suite of support to help companies with the transition to higher-value-added manufacturing.
Earlier this week, I invited a wide range of senior representatives from the manufacturing sector to take stock of how the Assembly Government and its agencies can support the sector even more effectively in the light of the competitive threats from low-cost locations. We had an excellent exchange of ideas, and what emerged was an even deeper shared commitment to work closely together to create the conditions within which manufacturing in Wales can become even more competitive. We considered issues ranging from transport infrastructure and broadband to the need to promote more vigorously a wider understanding and take-up of lean manufacturing. We discussed in detail the case for developing skill sets, including those for managers, that are tailored even more closely to the needs of our partners in manufacturing. I was enormously encouraged that all stakeholders had a clear understanding of the nature of the issues facing the sector and a determination to work together to find even better ways to tackle them. I suggested-and the idea was taken up enthusiastically-that we set up an industry-led task and finish group to deliver clear recommendations on what practical action Team Wales can take to improve the competitive position of manufacturing in Wales, not just for the short term, but as a means of promoting sustainable solutions. The group has been asked to report back to me, and the broader manufacturing forum, within two months.
I will keep the Assembly closely informed about the progress of this important, practical and industry-led action.