Digital Innovation: Changing work, changing Wales - report calls for major overhaul of regional skill planning

ColegauCymru has this week welcomed the publication of Wales 4.0 Delivering Economic Transformation for a Better Future of Work. The report, informed by a wide ranging consultation, presents key findings and recommendations from Professor Phil Brown. The report sets out a review of how rapid advances in digital innovation are likely to impact the economy and future of work in Wales. The report was undertaken by Professor Brown on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The report makes a number of interesting and challenging recommendations, including the need to conduct a range of reforms to build capacity in the post-compulsory education sector. Importantly, the review highlighted the need for regional skills partnerships (RSPS) to put a greater focus on demand-side interventions to better enable businesses to innovate for skill augmentation and job redesign. The report and skills planning recommends that part of the role of RSPs should be to raise employer demand for, and investment in, training, rather than simply extracting capacity from existing funding for adult skills provision.

Dr Rachel Bowen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at ColegauCymru said: “This is an exciting and wide-ranging report that addresses the key issues facing Wales as a result of digital innovation. While we look forward to engaging with the report and its recommendations in more detail, the Further Education sector is keen to embrace the challenges of Wales 4.0 and is already doing so: from upskilling and retraining adult learners via more flexible options, to integrating digital technology across all types of learning.”

“A significant and meaningful reform of regional skills planning is timely and overdue. We are keen to see the publication of the National Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee’s inquiry into RSPs and how their recommendations fit with those of the Wales 4.0 report.”

“ColegauCymru is also keen to think about how the Welsh language can be incorporated into the report’s recommendations as we seek to build a future Wales that is fully bilingual.”