The latest in Skills & Talent across Southeast Wales

2023 started on a celebratory note, with 41 finalists revealed for the CIPD Wales Awards, Welsh Government unveiling a £5M Innovation Fund for FE Colleges, a new ‘We’re in Your Corner’ campaign launched to help businesses recruit and train, and Aspire2Be announcing a new Leadership & Management Apprenticeship. January also brought the sobering news that Wales needs 9,100 more Construction Workers by 2027 – reminding us of both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead ….

9,000+ extra Construction Workers needed in Wales by 2027

New figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) reveal that 9,100 extra workers will be needed to meet construction demand in Wales by 2027.

The CITB’s annual Construction Skills Network (CSN) report expects demand for workers to remain constant, despite the current economic uncertainty – with recruitment, training, development and upskilling remaining key priorities for 2023 and beyond. 

The main headlines of the report show that:

  • 9,100 extra workers (1,820 a year) will be needed to meet construction demand in Wales, between now and 2027.
  • Fewer people aged under 40 are coming into the construction industry than ever before.
  • Employment in the construction sector must grow by 1.6% annually to meet increasing customer and government demand.
  • The major sectors creating demand are Private Housing and Repair & Maintenance.
  • Construction output is set to grow for all nations and regions, despite a recession in 2023, with slow growth returning in 2024.

The CITB is meeting the challenge by investing further in apprenticeships – as well as launching a range of targeted initiatives and working collaboratively with industry, with the aim of building a skilled workforce and resilient, inclusive talent pipeline for the construction sector here in Wales.   

Those initiatives include the recently launched employer network pilot project, creating localised solutions for funding and training for levy-registered construction businesses – as well as a network of Onsite Experience hubs established by the CITB across Wales, a ‘one-stop recruitment solution’ linking employers, training providers and local authorities with prospective employees.

CIPD Awards 2023 announce 41 finalists …

The outstanding employers and practitioners of our Region have been recognised for their exceptional standards of HR and people development practices, with the announcement of the shortlist for the CIPD Wales awards 2023.

This year’s awards will take place at Cardiff City Hall on Friday 3rd of March – with 41 companies, teams and individuals shortlisted across nine categories.

CCR-based enterprises and people are well represented in the nominations, with finalists including Airbus, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, the Celtic Collection, Coleg Gwent, Credit Safe, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Monmouthshire Housing Association, Nexperia, Pobl, Principality Building Society, Shared Services Connected Ltd, South Wales Police and Tiny Rebel brewery.

The gala ceremony will spotlight best practice across the HR, L&D, Recruitment and ‘People Functions’, with categories that include Best Apprenticeship Scheme, Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, Best Health & Wellbeing Initiative, Best Hybrid & Flexible Working Initiative, Best In-House Team, Best L&D Organisation or Development, Best Resourcing & Talent Management Initiative, Rising Star of the People Profession and Excellence in HR leadership.  

£5M Innovation Fund created to support Further Education

The Welsh Government has announced plans to establish a £5M Innovation Fund to help Further Education (FE) colleges explore new ways to support learners.

The new fund will invest in projects that enable and empower learners in key areas – including skills development, wellbeing, resilience, and adaptability – with an additional benefit of encouraging FE colleges to create innovative solutions together

This pioneering fund will look to expand on already-successful programmes such as Junior Apprenticeships, Employment Bureaus and Accelerated Learning programmes – as well as exploring completely new learning pathways – with the ultimate focus of ensuring that people of all ages and abilities receive a high-quality education in Wales.

Over £2.5 million of the fund will be used to support learners undertaking vocational programmes – and there’s positive news for learners who are experiencing financial hardship, with the Financial Contingency Fund also receiving a boost of £1.345 million, to help people continue to access a college education.

New apprenticeship launched to redefine leadership and management in teaching and education

The CCR-based, multi-award-winning learning technology company Aspire2Be has launched the ILM Leadership & Management Qualification, opening up opportunities for learners to be taught the art and science of leadership and management, by industry experts.

These highly relevant new qualifications are targeted at teachers and educators with leadership and management responsibilities – aiming to redefine leadership in education, by equipping aspiring teachers with vital ‘future-ready’ skills that can shape their whole career.  

The learning pathways are based on ‘lived experience’ within the education sector, providing contextualised learning experiences that are relevant to real-life roles and responsibilities – and are offered at levels 4 and 5, extending the Aspire2Be range of Apprenticeships to cater for an important new audience.  

New Campaign launched to boost jobs and training in Wales

The Welsh Government has launched its latest “We’re in Your Corner” campaign to help businesses across CCR and the rest of Wales understand the many programmes – and incentives – available for recruitment and training.

Expert advice, training grants and wage subsidies are available through Business Wales, to help businesses adapt to Wales’ changing economic landscape by filling skills gaps, growing their team and diversifying their workforce. 

ReAct+, Jobs Growth Wales+, Apprenticeships and other programmes are available to help with training and recruitment – with additional support on offer to help businesses recruit disabled people, or people aged 18-24 who are not in education, training or employment.

To find out more about the latest developments in Skills & Talent across South East Wales, go to


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