Regional skills partnerships in Wales report

Monday, November 11, 2019

In October 2019 the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee at the National Assembly for Wales published their report on regional skills partnerships in Wales

Whilst recommending that the Welsh Government should instigate a thorough reform of Regional Skills Partnerships the report also contained useful insights into the Welsh skills landscape.

A key aim of Welsh Government policy is to “drive up the average skills level” in Wales. Qualification levels in the working age population of Wales have been increasing over time and are projected to continue increasing. According to Welsh Government official statistics:

  • Overall in 2001, 21% of the working age population had no qualifications, whilst 22.1% held a qualification at Level 4 and above.
  • By 2018 this had changed to 7.9% holding no qualifications and 38% holding a qualification at Level 4 and above.

Low-skills traps see parts of an economy stalled by a cycle of low employer demand for higher-skills and a low-skill workforce that consequently has little incentive to upskill. Both low-skills traps and skills shortages are associated with negative economic and personal outcomes, including low pay and low productivity. There is a need to understand what sectors, places and regions are experiencing low-skill traps so that they can be tackled by stimulating employer demand for higher level skills. 

How to stimulate demand for higher level skills was beyond the scope of the inquiry but is of fundamental importance to the aim of breaking low-skill traps. It is vital to ensuring that the more qualified workforce Wales is developing is not under-utilised and under-employed with all the poor personal and economic outcomes skills surpluses are linked to. 


Helping ensure the correct utilisation of new graduates in Wales forms part of the rationale for We make graduate jobs in the country more visible for students and graduates to find suitable graduate level work on completing their studies.  



The full report: