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Programme for Government: How tradespeople in Wales may be affected

  • A new 5-year Welsh government plan aims to create a “stronger, greener, fairer” Wales.
  • Support for the Welsh building industry highlighted as a priority from 2021-2026.

On 15th June 2021, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, set out a 5-year plan to explain how the Welsh government will meet the promises it made during the Senedd 2021 election. The latest Programme for Wales features 10 key objectives, covering housing, planning, energy, transport and the environment.

What’s the main focus for the Welsh government from 2021 to 2026?

Tackling climate change and improving the environment are the main influences on all the commitments set out in the programme. And, a new “super-Ministry” has been created to ensure that all the actions taken will help Wales reach its target of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

What does the Programme for Government mean for tradespeople in Wales?

Programme for Government: Roofers at work

The Welsh government has clearly stated that it wants to support the Welsh building industry. The main commitment that could bring new work to tradespeople is to “make our cities, towns and villages even better places in which to live and work”. This includes creating climate-secure homes by:

  • Building 20,000 new low carbon social homes for rent.
  • Decarbonising homes through retrofitting.
  • Delivering jobs, training and innovation using local supply chains.

Other priorities under this key commitment that could also affect tradespeople include:

Supporting local businesses

  • Creating a timber based industrial strategy, in order to develop and sustain the production of Welsh wood.
  • Bringing services and contracts back into the public sector, in cases where it’s sustainable and affordable to do so.

Improving home safety

  • Improving building safety to help people feel secure in their homes.
  • Setting a default speed limit of 20mph in residential areas.
  • Banning pavement parking, where possible.

Supporting local democracy

Local organisations could have more say over policy areas, such as housing, which could affect tradespeople. The Welsh government’s said it’ll:

  • Support cooperative housing, community-led initiatives and community land trusts.
  • Provide each Welsh region with the means to develop future economies.
Programme for Government: Tradesperson teaching apprentices

Furthermore, another key government commitment focuses on fixing the damage to the economy caused by coronavirus, Brexit and austerity, through:

Creating new jobs and training

  • Creating 125,000 all-age apprenticeships.
  • Offering work, education, training or self-employment to under-25’s through the Young Persons Guarantee.
  • Closing the gap between disabled people and the rest of the working population through the Disabled People’s Employment Champions.

Supporting businesses

  • Encouraging businesses to work co-operatively, increase their digital offer and support local supply chains, to help town centres become more agile.
  • Support Wales TUC proposals for union members to become Green Representatives in the workplace.
  • Make Wales a world centre of emerging tidal technologies through a Tidal Lagoon Challenge and other initiatives.
Carpenter using a smartphone and laptop

The Welsh government has also committed to build a stronger and greener economy, through:

  • Delivering the Digital Strategy for Wales and upgrading the digital and communications infrastructure.
  • Launching a 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan.
  • Creating a new major routes fund to improve the attractiveness and biodiversity alongside major transport routes.
Building waste in skip outside house

In addition, the Welsh government’s efforts to address the climate emergency through the Programme for Government include:

  • Incentivising waste reduction by businesses through an extended producer responsibility scheme.
  • Progressing towards a sustainable timber industry using the National Forest.
  • Continuing to oppose the extraction of fossil fuels.

The potential increase in trades work from the new Programme for Government adds to the new job opportunities predicted for tradespeople through the Help to Build scheme.

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