The Latest in Skills and Talent in Southeast Wales

December saw exciting developments in innovation and sustainability across the region.  

From health and social care to their next generation of innovators, our Region is continuing to innovate and prioritise sustainable practices – ready to continue accelerating the journey to net zero in 2024. 

Cardiff Capital Region Launch Digital and Net Zero Skills Programme

Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) have announced the launch of the Cluster Growth and Development Programme designed to drive economic development and prosperity across Southeast Wales.  

Jointly funded by CCR and the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, the Programme will deliver targeted projects, including a Skills Programme led by Cardiff and Vale College, alongside a network of FE, HE & specialist skills partners.  

The Skills Programme will deliver targeted initiatives to tackle skills shortages, create new talent pipelines, and widen access to upskilling across the region – ultimately driving CCR’s goals of inclusive growth. 

Young Welsh Inventors Leading Future Innovation

Hosted by WJEC, the 23rd annual Innovation Awards were held in The Senedd to celebrate the innovative creativity of young people in Wales.  

The ceremony paid tribute to Welsh inventors – from the modern microphone to the X-ray, Welsh inventions have pioneered innovation.  

Winning inventions included a wireless toothbrush charger, a device for exercise during long flights, and a project designed to teach people to play the guitar. 

Each year, the Innovation Awards inspire young people to continue developing new and exciting products  

Sustainability Upskilling in Welsh Hospitality

Funded by Welsh Government, Food & Drink Skills Wales are leading online training courses to help Welsh food and drink businesses implement sustainable changes to their organisation.  

With courses designed and led by EcoStudio and Cynnal Cymru, businesses will be empowered with the skills and knowledge they need to reach their sustainability goals. 

GEP Environmental delivers decarbonisation workshops to improve awareness of the journey to net zero within the food and drink sector. 

These workshops and courses allow businesses implement sustainability and decarbonisation strategies in their daily operations, ultimately driving the sector’s journey to net zero.  

Life Sciences Hub Wales Driving Health and Social Care Innovation

Life Sciences Hub Wales seeks to accelerate innovation within health and social care to address key challenges within the healthcare sector, making services more efficient and improving patient outcomes. 

Life Sciences Hub has supported two innovative projects within the Cardiff Capital Region. 

AI-powered pain assessment app PainChek scans facial movements to assess an individual’s level of pain. Life Sciences Hub Wales has initiated a year-long evaluation project with Gwent Regional Partnership Board to assess the pain management tool’s effectiveness in care homes – giving a voice to non-verbal residents. 

Approximately a thousand care home residents set to benefit from the project, including improved use of pain relief, reduction in use of antipsychotic drugs, and greater resident safety.  

In Bridgend, Life Sciences Hub Wales is involved in another project to evaluate medication management device, YOURmeds. The device helps people remember to take their medication and can send alerts to care services if medication is taken incorrectly. 

Funded through Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s Value Based Health Care Team, the evaluation project will assess potential benefits including increased independence, reduce burden on emergency services, and improve collaboration between primary and social care services. These findings will inform a potential national roll-out of the device across Wales. 

FinTech Wales Annual Report Announces 300% Increase in Investment in Welsh Fintech

FinTech Wales have published their Fintech in Wales Annual Report for 2022/23 to provide insight into the fintech ecosystem in Wales. 

Reporting a 300% increase in investment since 2022, the report highlights the successes of the ecosystem with expansion set to continue into 2024. 

It estimates that 16,000 people are employed in fintech in Wales, with plans to create 1000 new job opportunities to support the sector, particularly within banks and professional services. 

To continue this pathway of growth, the report outlines key recommendations including upskilling, strengthening support for businesses looking to scale up, and increasing collaboration between related industries. 

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