Creating thousands of good-quality jobs and helping people access skills training will be at the heart of a new plan to deliver economic change in the South Wales Valleys, the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language Alun Davies said in his announcement on Tuesday 11 July.

Speaking a year after the Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales Valleys was launched, the Minister said the taskforce’s plan – Our Valleys, Our Future – will be published on July 20.

The taskforce was set up to work with communities and local businesses across the South Wales Valleys and aims to deliver lasting economic change; create good-quality jobs closer to people’s homes, improve skill levels and bring prosperity to all.

Commenting on the announcement Dawn Bowden AM said:

“I was very pleased to hear from the Minister the details of the taskforce’s priorities ahead of the publication of its plan on 20 July”

In a statement in the Senedd the Minister set out some of the taskforce’s priorities, ahead of the plan’s publication.

  • Closing the employment gap between the South Wales Valleys and the rest of Wales by getting an additional 7,000 people into work by 2021, and creating thousands of new, fair, secure and sustainable jobs;
  • Creating new strategic hubs in six areas across the Valleys, including the new automotive technology business park for Ebbw Vale, announced by Ken Skates last month;
  • Exploring the concept of a Valleys Landscape Park, to help local communities build on their many natural assets, including the potential for community energy generation and tourism.

Dawn Bowden added:

“The upcoming plan will build upon infrastructure investments already announced for South Wales, including the Metro, affordable housing and M4 relief road and I am confident these ambitious plans will make a real and positive difference to our Valleys communities”