Members of Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet have approved the business case for a new Skills and Talent Programme aimed at delivering the skills and training requirements for all Swansea Bay City Deal projects.

The Swansea Bay City Deal is a £1.3bn investment in nine major projects across the Swansea Bay City Region which is made up of Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea.

The City Deal is being funded, subject to the approval of project business cases, by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector.

The Skills and Talent Programme, one of the nine City Deal projects, will work with partners from the private sector, higher and further education, schools and the third sector with the project team mapping out gaps in current provision and establishing the skills and training needed for students, teachers and lecturers both now and in future.

The programme aims to deliver regional training solutions which will be aligned to the needs of industry and Swansea Bay City Deal themes. Investment in it will include funding for equipment and the development of courses to support the projects.

The overarching aim of the programme is to strengthen collaboration and increase investment that will significantly boost the quality and quantity of trained and skilled individuals through the intervention of the programme.

Some of the aims of the proposed Skills and Talent Programme are to:

  • Directly deliver at least 2,200 additional skills and support the development of around 14,000 individuals with higher level skills within 10 years.
  • To create at least 3,000 new apprenticeship opportunities, to include level 3 to Degree apprenticeships.
    To create at least two Centres of Excellence within specific sectors to develop the region as being “the best” area for skills development.
  • To create a clear career pathway from school education through further and higher education in the key areas of digital; construction, energy; smart manufacturing and life-science and wellbeing, achieved through engagement and development work with schools increasing the number of pupils following the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in FE and HE.
  • To deliver 20 new/updated course frameworks to ensure they meet the industry training needs for the future.

The council’s Cabinet approved the programme’s business case at its meeting on June 30th, with members also being recommended to agree its formal submission to the Portfolio Management Office in accordance with the City Deal Implementation Plan to secure City Deal funding approval.

The Skills and Talent Programme now also needs to be approved by other Swansea Bay City Deal local authorities, the City Deal Joint Committee and the Welsh Government and UK Government.

Neath Port Talbot Council