The middle of April saw the launch of major new skills and jobs programmes, with CIPD Wales unveiling its pioneering Hidden In Plain Sight campaign to help bring thousands of disadvantaged people into the workplace, Welsh Government pledge £13 million for trade unions to deliver learning and upskill support – and Daikin and Robert Price introduce an innovative one-day training course to skill-up on the heat pump installations that are helping drive our green heating revolution.
The past fortnight has also reported a rocketing of new roles in the high-value Welsh Space sector … but worrying news on the Gender Pay front, with the rise in inflation causing a potential widening of the pay gap between males and females …
CIPD taps into Wales’ hidden talent pools
With Wales’ jobless figures currently standing as a near record low of 3.1% and almost every sector reporting staff shortages as the country emerges from the pandemic, CIPD Wales has launched a first-of-its-kind campaign to help address the talent shortfall – looking to match thousands of potential jobseekers with businesses throughout our region.
The Hidden in Plain Sight campaign is aimed at encouraging people into or back into the workplace – liaising directly with organisations across a range of sectors, helping support thousands of people from under-represented groups into work.
The target groups include young people aged 18-24, people with experience of or an interest in the caring profession, ex-offenders, the socially excluded, people who have experienced homelessness – and individuals such as ex-service personnel and elite sports professionals, whose first careers have ended early.
There is currently less easily accessible support available to these groups – and Hidden in Plain Sight will offer the training and mentoring needed to help potentially thousands of people directly into sustainable employment; consulting with businesses across Wales to identify the abilities, attributes and skills they are looking for – tailoring the training through a programme that is aligned with Welsh Government’s recently-launched Employability and Skills plan.
A series of roadshows later in the year will be held across the country to deliver opportunities directly to individuals – with CIPD Wales’ 6.000-strong membership playing a key role as mentors, as providers of work experience or as employers.
South Wales training course to drive the green heating revolution
A free and flexible training scheme for people interested in a career working with heat pumps and low carbon heating solutions is on offer for up to 200 prospective installers in South Wales.
World-leading heat pump manufacturer, Daikin, has come together with Coleg Gwent and specialist training provider GN Group, to deliver the one-day Daikin Air Source Heat Pump Installation training course.
The course is taking place at the Robert Price Sustainable Home Centre in Newport; and is open to anyone aged 19 and above, who is employed, living in Wales and earning less than £29,534 per year – and is ideal for those with a keen interest in low carbon heating, including heating engineers and tradespeople familiar with heating installations.
Successful applicants for the course can start as soon as they are ready, with intensive one-day courses running until the end of July – covering the fundamentals of installing heat pumps, system requirements and procedures, exposure to practical working scenarios to bring it all to life, plus an interactive Q&A with the trainer.
The training is part of the Welsh Government’s Personal Learning Account (PLA) initiative which offers people the chance to access free part-time courses with flexible and convenient learning that fits around their lifestyle – and registrations for the course are available online right now, via Coleg Gwent.
News of this exciting new training initiative comes hot on the heels of the UK governments’ Boiler Upgrade Scheme and removal of VAT on heat pumps, both of which are likely to boost demand for the technology.
Wales’ Space Jobs more than double
Space jobs in Wales have more than doubled in the last financial year, according to new figures announced last week by the UK Space Agency.
With a Welsh-built satellite set to take to the skies later this year as part of the UK’s first ever small satellite launch, new figures show that employment in Wales’ space sector grew by 694 new positions to create a total 1,109 highly-skilled and well-paid roles in this valuable and sustainable Welsh talent community.
Levelling up the space sector is a key priority for the UK Space Agency and there are now 1,293 space organisations across the UK, with new spaceports in Wales likely to increase jobs further in the coming years, alongside the growth of regional space clusters.
Despite the global impact of the pandemic, employment across the wider UK space sector has reached 46,995 (an increase of 6.7%) and overall sector income increased to £16.5 billion – with space manufacturing (which includes satellites, spacecraft, launch vehicles and scientific instruments) growing by £23 million to £2.27 billion.
£13 million for trade unions to deliver learning and upskill support
The Welsh Government has pledged £13 million for trade unions to deliver skills solutions and learning support to workers over the next three years.
The Wales Union Learning Fund (WULF) and Wales TUC trade union education programmes help trade unions in Wales to develop essential skills and employability amongst the workforce, with a particular emphasis on removing barriers for traditional non-learners.
The next stage of the programme will build on the flexibility and innovation shown by the programme during the pandemic, when it focused on helping workers who experienced redeployment, furlough and job loss – with the new phase of the WULF programme seeing 18 unions receive funding to provide a range of activities that upskill individuals and progress their career aspirations.
Rising inflation may widen UK’s gender pay gap
A new study has revealed that women (14%) are less likely than men (22%) to have been awarded a salary increase in line with or above the rate of inflation.
The report by CIPHR also suggests that a greater proportion of women are getting a lower pay rise when compared with their male colleagues – with two fifths (40%) of females saying their pay rise was below inflation, compared to a third (32%) of the men who have received a pay rise.
As remuneration is not expected to keep pace with inflation this year or next, these findings suggest that the UK’s gender pay gap may grow.
With the deadline looming for the UK government’s 2021-22 gender pay gap reporting, the ONS will soon be revealing the progress being made by the UK’s biggest employers (those with 250 employees or more) in reducing the country’s gender pay inequality; with the most recent figures reporting that women, on average, earn 85p for every pound earned by a man.
Those most up-to-date stats detail that over three-quarters (77%) of organisations pay their male employees more than their female employees, with only one in seven (13.4%) paying women more than men – and a mere one in 10 organisations (9.6%) reporting that they have no pay gap.
To find out more about the latest in Skills and Talent across Southeast Wales and beyond, go to www.venturewales.org