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Workshop 1: Social Wellbeing Economy

Workshop 1. 19 October, 09:30 - 10:30

This is your opportunity to share your vision for the future of the North Wales region.

Below is a summary of discussions at the recent Regional Economic Framework for North Wales consultation event held on the morning of the 19th October.


Please browse the key points and add your own to the discussion by commenting below.



Regional Challenges

  • The document is a positive step forward - need to see the challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles.

  • Employment and job opportunities pose a challenge – skills is an issue; need to engage differently with the unemployed; young people have been disproportionally affected by Covid.

  • Need stronger infrastructure, to support the training and employment challenges for all ages.

  • Not enough emphasis on the community sector, in view of its potential to develop the economy.

  • Cultural Integration Plans required, to assist the assimilation of people moving into the area.

  • Supporting growth for indigenous businesses; getting Social Enterprise into Public Sector and Supply Chains, especially micro businesses and start-ups.

  • Health measurements are not included, only economy. Health is linked to deprivation and a large part of the Economy. Healthy people are economically active and therefore less pressure on health services.


Regional Opportunities

  • Prioritise and focus on key areas

  • Active travel is constrained by not being seen in the Tourism and leisure space – need to ensure it is integral to people’s lives.

  • Town centres are struggling in terms of opportunities for entrepreneurs and young people. Empty sites could benefit young people.

  • We need to look at apprenticeships now, not in 2040. In terms of academia, reason for students coming, what the educational provision is and what opportunities are there in terms of jobs for them to stay; HEI’s have the option to work with industry and education to link people to jobs, we have a positive role to channel the young people from the start and make a difference, it must be co-ordinated and start at a young age.

  • Need to transform systems - energy, transport, food rather than looking at individual sectors, how we as a region are going to work together to move the agenda forward.

  • Opportunities to attract young and older people to the region prioritising Welsh culture

  • Opportunity of work life balance in the region.

  • Strength of Social Enterprise; private sector to learn from social enterprise; social enterprise leaders in Climate Change, North Wales is an example region.

  • Focus on specific opportunities and shout about regional strengths.


Regional Priorities - paving the way for 2040 vision

  • There are a number of progressive reports, strategies and policies available - the weakness is in implementation. There is a big gap between government and the grassroots in this regard. Need to consider what action needs to change for the benefit of our communities and the people of the region.

  • Strengthening the relationship between community and regional development. Historically there are big differences, with the two sectors working separately - to succeed the community sector must be involved in the negotiations.

  • There needs to be greater emphasis on the foundational economy

  • Coherent skill and educational system across all age groups

  • Ensure that social enterprise is seen as an integral part of the business community; availability of finance for the sector, in particular the start-ups sector

  • We need to look at the education sector, in terms of academic vs vocational qualifications, ensuring young people understand the options available to them

  • The approach of how to promote has to change


Future regional collaborative working principles

  • Future “collaborative working” has been overused- we need to ensure the vision and clarity of this. Lots of evidence of cross border working and we need to be simple, clear and understandable.

  • Prioritising the key collaborative groups / tools is important.

  • Joint-working across economic, social and environmental spheres is required - action on this is tricky as consent is unknown to some sectors.

  • Sharing power and resources with communities is key. How prepared are corporate bodies to do this?

  • The biggest obstacle is the fact that people are used to working in silos - it is important to expand on and develop the potential of existing partnerships.

  • Important to have a discussion to find a more sustainable solution across all sectors.


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