Economy Minister Ken Skates will today launch a national discussion on a new plan to help secure the future of manufacturing in Wales.
From coronavirus to Brexit and decarbonisation – manufacturing is going through one of the most intense and challenging periods in its history.
Last year, in Wales alone there were more than 150,000 people employed in the sector but a range of external factors including the pandemic and high profile redundancies are set to drive a reduction in that figure over the coming months.
The Minister will launch the four-week consultation aimed at supporting and future-proofing the sector at a remotely-held, Wales wide Manufacturing Summit today.
The plan, A Manufacturing Future for Wales – A Framework for Action, is being developed to look at how the Welsh Government, industry, academia and the Trade Unions can work together to secure the future of the manufacturing sector in Wales.
Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “This consultation comes as we face an economic crisis like no other – one that threatens the very existence of manufacturing companies across the UK.
“Manufacturing has a long proud history in Wales and continues to play an incredibly important role in our economy and the livelihoods of our people and communities.
“Ensuring the sector is future-proof is absolutely essential in recovering from current challenges and facing those to come.
“The new plan will be crucial in providing a focus for securing the future of our manufacturing capability and identifying the steps needed to develop a resilient, advanced manufacturing sector.”
The Welsh Government had begun work on a new plan for manufacturing prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
Discussions had taken place with industry associations and the trade unions on the steps needed to develop a resilient and high value manufacturing sector.
The consultation which goes live on the Welsh Government website today is the next phase of developing the plan and will be open until 19 October for people to provide their views.
The Minister added: “We have to transition our manufacturing community – including its supply chains – to one, which is increasingly involved in ‘high value’ activities and makes a positive impact on local communities.
“We also need to see a workforce with strong, up to date skills able to deliver the products and technologies for the future economy.
“Collaboration will be key in delivering this and the plan will be important in showing how Welsh Government, industry, academia and the Trade Unions can work together effectively for the benefit of the sector’s future.
“We will take this work forward with pace and purpose, and I encourage anyone with an interest to make their views known during this consultation period.”
The Welsh Government intends to publish the final plan before the end of the year.