Will the Minister provide an update on the Welsh Government's manufacturing action plan?
Since publishing the Plan, we have established Net Zero Industry Wales to work with industry and our social partners in making Wales a Net Zero nation by 2050, supported by our Net Zero Skills Action Plan which we will be publishing shortly. We are helping businesses make more efficient use of resources and embed circular economy principles through initiatives like the Toyota Lean Manufacturing programme and WRAP Cymru.
We are also progressing with an extensive supply chain mapping exercise to improve supply chain resilience and anchorage across several critical areas including Renewable Energy, Housing, Healthcare, Construction, Transport and Food & Drink.
Our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru in North Wales is working with companies across sectors to deploy new Industry 4.0 technologies. A recent example of this is the ‘Ffatri 4.0’ project which is a collaboration between AMRC Cymru, Airbus and Welsh food and drink companies, using digital tools to create the ‘factory of the future’. Alongside this is the significant investment Airbus has made at AMRC Cymru to develop future wing technologies through its global R&D programme ‘Wing of Tomorrow’.
Fair Work, Low Carbon and Climate Resilience, core principles of the Manufacturing Plan are now key pillars of our Economic Contract and an essential consideration for any company applying for Welsh Government financial support.
Given the many significant changes we have seen since the Plan was initially launched, including the war in Ukraine and soaring energy costs we are currently undertaking an update of the Plan to ensure it continues to respond to the most important challenges and opportunities facing Welsh manufacturing companies.