- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
The new National Assembly for Wales Cross Party Group on Construction has met to take on Wales’ construction industry challenges.
The Cross Party Group will initially focus on procurement and training, particularly on apprenticeships.
As the construction sector faces harsh economic times, the group will look at improvements that can be made in procurement and how they can work with other agencies in Wales to achieve this.
Joyce Watson AM, Chair of the National Assembly for Wales Cross Party Group on Construction said: “Construction is key to the Welsh economy, and I am keen that we in the Assembly continue to work closely with industry to progress this agenda, particularly in the field of apprenticeships and skills.
“Over the coming weeks, months and years ahead the industry will face many challenges. At a time when the industry is facing some of the biggest challenges in decades, it’s all the more important that we work together to help Welsh businesses in this sector to grow and prosper.
“As Chair of the Cross Party Group on Construction in the Assembly, I will be working hard alongside other AMs and the industry to ensure that their concerns are formally expressed within government and nationally. In particular, I am keen to ensure that issues of apprenticeships, skills and procurement are looked at in detail, and to identify areas of best practice and areas that need improvement.
“We must all do our part to ensure that young people have an industry to go to that is thriving and that continues to attract investment from both government and the private sector.”
Wyn Prichard, Director for ConstructionSkills Wales said, “I am very pleased that Joyce agreed to chair this group at a very challenging time for the sector. We have been able to draw on support from across the four parties, with many holding key committee posts and regional expertise and I would also offer an open invitation to other Assembly members to attend when the agenda item is of interest. We will be looking to hold four meetings a year, with a headline topic tabled at each meeting of mutual interest.
“At the first meeting, we had members of the South East Wales Forum presenting to the group and in the coming year, the other fora and the ConstructionSkills Wales board will present. We look to our working relationship with the Cross Party Group to make a real difference for the construction sector in Wales.”
Gareth Davies, Chair of the South East Wales Forum said, “As the Chair of the South East Wales Forum I was delighted, with other Forum members, to be the first to present to the Cross Party Group.
“This provides the vital connectivity the sector needs with Government, as well as underpinning the regional impact of our Forum. This is a good start, and we look forward to delivering the outputs the sector needs in partnership with Constructionskills and the Cross Party Group in 2012.”
The first meeting of the Cross Party Group on Construction, which follows on from the success of the Cross Party Group in the Built Environment in the Third Assembly, was well attended by industry figures and Assembly Members from all parties.
The Cross Party Group on Construction seeks to promote understanding amongst Assembly Members and other relevant groups about Wales’ construction industry as well as the wider built environment and its impact upon key political areas including heritage, planning, business support, low carbon, procurement, economic development and housing supply. It seeks to ensure that Wales has a world-class construction industry.
Four meetings will take place next year, with members meeting again in the Assembly Spring term.