2 minute read
Welsh skills boost welcomed by leading manufacturer
The news from the Welsh Government that it has earmarked a £310m package of financial support to drive up skills across Wales has been welcomed by the Group Director of a major Carmarthenshire employer, Morgan Marine, who has long called for extra backing to close the skills gap in Wales.
Morgan Marine, which has its HQ in Carmarthenshire, is a leading manufacturer and engineer of security housings, enclosures and products designed to protect Critical National Infrastructure in the utilities, construction, nuclear, rail and renewables sectors – as a group of companies, between 80 and 90 percent of the power distributed in mainland UK has passed through one of their enclosures.
Group Director of its parent company, Martyn Ingram, said: “This commitment to funding to boost skills in Wales, particularly in the important areas of manufacturing and engineering, is very welcome. There is a pressing need here for investment in quality STEM training, which was also talked about recently in Theresa May’s Industrial Strategy.
“This skills gap is felt acutely in Wales, and certainly by Morgan Marine and our sister company Envico Engineering, which is based in Swansea.
“These STEM skills are essential for driving productivity, delivering long-term prosperity and staunching the brain drain that is affecting the country.”
£260m of the announced funding has been set aside for apprenticeships, including those supporting the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
Martyn added: “Apprentices are the lifeblood of any business which is serious about safeguarding its future. Apprenticeships are such a valuable gateway into rewarding careers and they are a learning process not just for the young people we bring into the fold, but for us as their mentors too, helping us to hone our communication skills.
“For our part, we have just welcomed three bright young apprentices to Morgan Marine, Rhys Evans, a junior project designer, Apprentice Welder, Brieg Matthews, and Aled Rees, an apprentice electrician. All three are making pleasing progress and we are expecting them to enjoy great careers in the industry.”
Ahead of the publication of the Welsh Government’s departmental spending plans, the Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams, has announced £50m of capital funding for Further Education and Higher Education sectors to improve facilities and learning environments for students.
And over the next two years, £10m has been pledged for allocation to FE institutions to invest in industry-standard training equipment. A further £10m is to be spent on essential maintenance to ensure safe learning environments.
An additional £30m will be allocated to support higher education estate rationalisation over the next three years.
The Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, also confirmed that £260m will be invested for apprenticeships over the next two years to support the Welsh Government’s commitment of creating 100,000 all-age apprenticeships over the life of this Assembly term.