The Swansea Bay City Deal Skills and Talent Programme, which will give thousands of people access to skills and training opportunities across South West Wales has taken another step forward. The first pilot project has moved into delivery and the project team is now fully recruited and ready to review further pilot project application.

This £30 million investment programme, which is part of the Swansea Bay City Deal’s portfolio of nine programmes and projects is funded by the Welsh Government, UK Government, public sector and private sector. Led by Carmarthenshire County Council on behalf of the region, the Skills and Talent Programme will aim to deliver 2,200 additional skills opportunities by helping around 14,000 people upskill and create at least 3000 new apprenticeship placements over the next decade. The programme will also help support local businesses to grow by developing a talented workforce across the region with a focus on industries with high demand for workers. There will be a particular focus on the digital, construction, energy, health and wellbeing and smart manufacturing sectors.

The first pilot project approved by the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership has begun this September in Pembrokeshire College, Milford Haven Secondary School and Ysgol Harri Tudur and will work in collaboration with local businesses. This unique project, known as the Pembrokeshire Passport to Employment, will educate students aged between 5-19 years old on Blue-Green Energy, preparing them for upcoming local job opportunities in the renewable energy sector including wave, tidal and solar energy, offshore and onshore wind power.  

Meanwhile, three new officers have been recruited to support the Skills & Talent Programme Manager and will have responsibility for the Quality Performance and Monitoring, Skills Development, and Career Pathway elements of the programme. This puts it in a strong position to review and develop the next group of pilot proposals that will further help boost skills and businesses across the region, whilst also assisting in skills shortages that currently exist.  

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee said “It is great to see the fantastic progress the City Deals Skills & Talent Programme has made over the last few months. The first pilot scheme is now underway, and I am looking forward to catching up with the students and pupils in the future on what they have learnt about renewable technology. Our Pembroke Dock Marine project has already projected a broad variety of job opportunities in this sector, where I am certain these courses will put the individuals in a strong position to gain employment, as well as helping businesses grow across the region."

Barry Liles, Strategic Lead for the Skills & Talent Programme added “With the team now being fully recruited it puts us in a strong position to move forward with the delivery of the programme in coming months where I look forward to making further announcements on the launch of additional pilot schemes.

“The Skills and Talent Programme interlinks with the entire City Deal portfolio and will be fundamental in its success by allowing us provide opportunities for individuals to gain skills in areas of high demand and gain employment locally in these areas. This will help retain our talent with South West Wales, shape the future and further grow our region’s economy”.

Barry Walters, Principal of Pembrokeshire College said “We are delighted to take part in the first Swansea Bay City Deal Skills and Talent pilot study in collaboration with Pembrokeshire County Council and local businesses. We have just welcomed lots of learners on our new course that will teach our young students about Renewable Energy, and we are confident this will provide a fantastic pathway towards a career in this sector.”