In this section
Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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
Welsh languageWelsh-language technology and digital media action plan
The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
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.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
In this section
Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
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.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.Learn more »
Minutes and Papers
- Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, Deputy First Minister (Chair)
- Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM
- Leighton Andrews AM
- Jocelyn Davies AM
- John Griffiths AM
- Brian Gibbons AM (item 3)
- Gareth Hall, Director of Economy and Transport
- Dennis Gunning, Director of Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills
- Emyr Roberts, Head of Department for Social Justice and Local Government
- Grenville Jackson, Director of Skills, Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills
- James Price, Director of Policy Strategy and Corporate Services
- Patrick Lewis, Director of Strategic Regeneration and Heads of the Valley
- Bethan Bateman, Senior Analyst Economic Policy
- Ceri Williams, Special Adviser
- Peter Greening, Head of Cabinet Secretariat
- Jill Thomas, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
- Jane Hutt, AM
- Edwina Hart MBE, AM
Item 1: Minutes from the previous meeting
1.1 The minutes of the previous meeting held on 21st April were agreed without amendment.
Item 2: Skills that Work for Wales
2.1 The Deputy Minister for Skills introduced the paper and explained that the strategy was based on the One Wales vision of a strong economy with full employment in which people were encouraged to be economically active and empowered to develop skills. The Skills that Work for Wales Strategy would provide the basis of the Assembly Government’s response to the Webb Review on Further Education. That review had recommended the up-skilling of the workforce to avoid Wales becoming a low-skilled economy.
2.2 The Skills that Work for Wales Strategy would bring together existing initiatives, such as Learning Pathways and Area Networks aimed at improving skills levels, into a more systematic approach. The intention was to create a framework that would give a clear lead to providers without being too prescriptive. The strategy would introduce new approaches to funding; more demand-responsive skills and business support; and integrated skills and employment services delivered through partnership between the Assembly Government, Jobcentre Plus and the Department of Work and Pensions. In short it would reconfigure and transform the learning network to deliver the skills for the future. Further Education colleges would be required to provide wider choices and would need to collaborate together to do so. The strategy was expected to be launched via a Written Statement on 16th July. The new system was expected to be in place by Autumn 2010.
2.3 The Chair thanked the Minister for outlining the strategy and invited colleagues to comment. Ministers welcomed the initiative.
2.4 The Deputy Minister for Skills said that basic skills were essential to the development of other skills. There were a number of initiatives such as Flying Start aimed at helping the early development of basic skills and the "Not in Education, Employment or Training" (NEET) strategy could help provide remedial support. With regard to funding changes for course for English for Speakers of a Second Language it was noted that such changes required twelve months notice before being introduced to avoid them being applied to learners already in the system. It was noted that the Assembly Government would be working with providers to build capacity. On the issue of equality of access to training it was suggested that the Career Ladders initiative was intended to help people into work and to make progress afterwards. The Assembly Government was also working with the Department of Work and Pensions and Job Centre Plus to achieve greater clarity on opportunities available.
Item 3: Developing an Integrated Approach to Tackling Economic Inactivity
3.1 The Chair introduced the paper which was a revised version of an earlier paper considered at the previous Cabinet Committee meeting on 21st April. He explained that tackling economic inactivity would require an increase in the employment rate from 72% to 80% which meant assisting 150,000 economically inactive people into work. He noted that there had been a previous improvement in the employment rate from 68% to 72% and asked for an explanation of how that had been achieved. Reforms being introduced by the Department of Work and Pensions were forecast to reduce incapacity benefit claimants by 75,000 and lone parents by 18,000 in Wales. That would leave a further 55,000 to 60,000 people to be helped to overcome barriers to gaining employment. The Chair invited comments from his Ministerial colleagues.
3.2 Ministers welcomed the revised paper and suggested that further work was required on: the marginal economic advantage of people moving into work; in work retention and progression; availability and affordability of childcare; and access to and cost of transport to work.
3.3 Ministers discussed the need for information to be made available on existing schemes that have proven successful in supporting people into work. The information could be used to measure progress and to inform decisions about how best to build on their successes. Officials confirmed that much of this information was available within the Assembly Government and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
Item 4: Construction Skills
4.1 In introducing the paper the Deputy Minister for Skills explained that the construction sector was crucially important to tackling economic inactivity. There had recently been much focus on the potential impact of the economic downturn on the sector but indications were that in Wales the impact may be softened because of the high level of demand from the public sector. However, it was possible that some people working in private sector might move to work in the public sector which could have a positive effect on construction skills shortages.
4.2 Ministers asked about the quality of existing training provision and whether the construction training centres were appropriately located. It was confirmed that centres were located in the right areas and that the number of apprentices being trained through public expenditure should be sufficient to meet the industry’s needs.
Item 5: Heads of the Valley University
5.1 Ministers noted that the Heads of the Valley Task and Finish Group had been set up and its first meeting had been held the previous week. At that meeting amendments had been requested to the Terms of Reference and this was being revised. Members welcomed the progress made to date and asked to be kept informed.