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The Urdd worth almost £45 million to Welsh economy in 2022-23

Dawn Bowden MS, Prentisiaid Urdd Apprentices Hudhayfah Arish + Yusuf Billie, Siân Lewis (Urdd CEO)

Wales’s largest youth organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymru contributed £44.9 million to the Welsh economy in 2022-23 according to a new report published this week (Wednesday, 29 November 2023) at an event in the Urdd’s Residential Centre in Cardiff Bay.

In 5 years, the Urdd’s economic worth has increased from £25.5 million to £44.9 million (an increase of 76%) and the organisation’s turnover has increased from £10.2 million to £19.6 million (88%).

Along with economic value the report also addresses the Urdd’s status as an employer for young people in Wales.

The main findings of the report by Arad Research are as follows:

  • The Urdd’s residential centres generated a total economic value of £7.9 million within their communities.
  • The Urdd’s sports activities generated an economic value of £6.1 million in Wales.
  • For every £1 of income received, the Urdd Eisteddfod produced an economic value of £6.96.
  • 42% of the 362 staff employed by the Urdd are under 25, and 38% of the Urdd’s strategic boards members are between 18 and 25.
  • There has been a 109% increase in new Apprenticeships per year since 2018 (from 35 to 73).
  • 80% of those who complete the Urdd’s Apprenticeship scheme are employed by the Organisation.

The report by Arad Research follows on from the findings of the Urdd’s economic effect in 2018, and its main aim was to find the national economic value of the organisation and its several departments, including the Residential Centres, Sports, Apprenticeships, Eisteddfod and the Arts, Youth and Community.

The survey also states that the activities provided by the Urdd impacts positively on young people’s attitudes towards Wales and the Welsh language, along with their confidence, social and emotional skills, and wellbeing. Furthermore, learners from the apprenticeship department feel they have full support throughout their journey.

Siân Lewis, Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s Chief Executive said: “Research company Arad were commissioned to assess the Urdd’s economic value to Wales, and it’s fair to say that we are very pleased with the figures. The Urdd’s aim is to provide experiences and activities through the medium of Welsh for children and young people in Wales, but this report demonstrates that we go way above our aims by generating jobs and wealth for the economy of Wales.

“With 362 members of staff, the Urdd is one of the largest Welsh language employers and the main provider of apprenticeships through the medium of Welsh within the third sector in Wales. Today’s economic value of £44.9 million shows that a third sector organisation that operates through the medium of Welsh can succeed in creating an economic impact together with a positive influence on the Welsh language.

“In this challenging economic climate, we appreciate that every organisation receiving public money needs to demonstrate value for money and I am pleased that this report clearly shows our impact on Wales.”

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “I want to thank the Urdd for the contribution they’ve made to the Welsh economy for over a century. Their efforts support our ambition towards a fairer, greener, and more prosperous Wales – all whilst having Cymraeg at the core of everything they do.”

Attending the event at the Urdd’s Residential Centre in Cardiff Bay, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden added: “This report demonstrates the importance the Welsh language, culture and sports can have on our economy. As we back young people to achieve the ambitious futures they deserve in Wales, the Urdd continue to nurture the workforce of the future.”