What schemes of work have the Welsh Government developed across the five pillars of the community wealth building approach to local economic development and what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of these schemes of work?
Through our work to nurture the Foundational Economy, we have focussed on activity regarding the community wealth building pillars of progressive procurement, employment and enabling democratic ownership of the economy.
Our work on procurement has specifically supported NHS Wales to integrate social value into its contract award decisions. This has resulted in £54m, which previously flowed out of Wales, being returned to local businesses. We are taking this learning to inform approaches to procurement across the wider Welsh public sector.
Welsh Government’s progressive community benefits policy has been applied and measured across almost £3bn of expenditure, with 84% of this providing revenue to Welsh based businesses and helping more than 3,300 disadvantaged people into work.
Anchor employers have adopted approaches to provide routes into employment for people within local communities. The Hywel Dda approach to building local skills has seen 100 apprentices taken on with a pledge to deliver 1,000 apprenticeships by 2030. This has led to job progression for local people and supported provision of better health care. A Sustainable Food Recruitment Campaign, building on the Food Skills Cymru website, saw 284 vacancies advertised on the notice board with nearly 200 being filled. Cyfle Building Skills has been supported to engage with major contractors to provide onsite placement opportunities for 60 Electrical and Plumbing learners, 90% of whom have gone into full time employment or apprenticeships.
Since establishing the new Social Business Wales service in April, we have assisted 17 new-start social enterprises and cooperatives. Our support for worker buyouts has seen seven businesses transition to employee owned with a further 82 individuals provided with support to consider setting up a social enterprise or cooperative.
The Development Bank of Wales is aligned with Welsh Government’s aim of supporting co-operatives and employee-owned businesses through its remit letter and has assisted a total of four employee buyouts.