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Workshop 7: Economic Vision for the Future (for 18-25 year olds)

Workshop 7. 2 November, 12:30 - 14:00

What is your Vision for North Wales in the future, what kind of place would you want it to be?

  • A place where young people are proud of themselves, and their communities; a place where they develop a mindset, that enables them to become an integral part of their community, to contribute to it, and realise that they can develop a career within their community.

  • Promoting local entrepreneurs; using more local produce, to benefit the local economy.

  • Improved transport links, between North and South Wales.

  • More developments, to reach Carbon Net Zero, & use of sustainable materials /resources; transitioning to more economically friendly forms of transport.

  • Young People are not a homogenous group, they have different views, dependent on their pathways & experiences; important to maintain varied pathways.

  • Improved support for young people’s transition, from education, to the world of work.

  • Improved support for employers, which will encourage them to take on young people.

Thinking of your experience as a young person or, as someone who works or engages with young people in North Wales, what is the greatest challenge facing the North Wales economy?

  • Young people unaware of opportunities, to be enterprising within their own communities; they do not recognise the communities’ role, in a global economic context.

  • Young people don’t see a future for themselves in rural areas, lack of prospects; Young people willing to move to an area that promises a future, draw of large industries & better salaries. Loss of sixth forms from many rural secondary schools, results in early migration; it is a challenge to keep them in their communities, and in good jobs.

  • Don’t want economic growth having an effect on the environment.

  • Some consideration is required on how the consideration of local material can be considered as part of Procurement to save on carbon emissions - how can we be more sustainable with local produce?

  • Significant behavioural changes required.

  • Economic disparities between North and South Wales, North Wales tends to be left behind; we are secondary to everything that happens in South Wales, especially in rural areas; the majority move to Cardiff, Manchester or London.

  • Difficult competitive labour market for young people, with limited work experience; trying to get work in rural areas is difficult; poses a challenge to the Welsh language.

  • Young people need help with mental health issues and, to develop their softer skills.

  • Young people may be in a fragile place/low self-esteem/low aspirations; further away from finding work, due to feeling disengaged from their time in education; don’t know what they want; need to look at the outcomes of some employment schemes.

  • Parents and educators, need to better prepare and, equip young people for the world of work.

  • A challenge to get young people motivated to find employment, education, and training; this has been amplified by the pandemic; a challenge to promote the benefits of a working life/career aspirations; young people need to know what’s in the jobs market and, have realistic aims.

  • Lack of confidence is a challenge, although they may be highly qualified some lack knowledge e.g. on employability, how to produce CV’s, have fear of interview process.

  • Further barriers could be cost and availability of transport to commute to work.

  • Need to look at co-ordination and consistency of activities i.e. soft skills training in Wales.

  • Too much focus on major (large-scale) companies, compared to smaller businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs in North Wales; there needs to be exposure to industries and employers, who are running small/micro businesses.

  • Not enough appetite amongst employers, to recruit young people – need to highlight the benefits of employing young people, despite their lack of experience.


Thinking of your experience as a young person or, as someone who works or engages with young people in North Wales, what is the greatest opportunity to the North Wales economy?

  • How to sell opportunities and co-ordinate support for employment, is key; how we market the outcomes and benefits of being employed, rather than the job.

  • Opportunities for education and community businesses, to develop the skills needed by local industries, for the economy to thrive.

  • Preparing, and raising young people awareness of available opportunities, to be enterprising within their own communities; trust and support communities, work with them, to ensure sustainable economic development.

  • Covid-19 crisis, has allowed some to reshape their future, creating opportunities for themselves within the area.

  • The best opportunity in rural areas, is joining/input into these types of workshops.

  • There are opportunities to decarbonise the supply chain and businesses and, boosting the Welsh brand – can feed into tourism and produce. Need to use our Welsh language to an advantage.

  • Careers Wales have numerous datasets, relating to young people - need to build on these; they also have web tools that help people evaluate their strengths and weaknesses - need to promote to students of year 9 and above, and their families.

  • Schemes becoming more national - important to have a continuation of local schemes e.g. availability of local unpaid placements schemes, encouraging young people to work with teachers as bubble monitors; cost & funding is a barrier.

  • Young Persons Guarantee, can be a means of supporting young people in Wales.

  • Make greater use of technology and, the tech savvy skills of young people.

Thinking of your experience as a young person or, as someone who works or engages with young people in North Wales, what would be your top priority for the region?

  • How to sell opportunities and co-ordinate support for employment, is key.

  • More guidance and training required; more support & opportunities post University; more/improved communication from course providers for FE/HE students, whilst on their journey; developing the understanding of children of school age,that the world of work and careers, is important; increase work readiness.

  • Greater exposure to the world of work, with opportunities to foster self-respect, confidence and good mental health; awareness of young peoples struggles, in terms of mental health, and their distance from the world of work.

  • Effective engagement with as many employers as possible, particularly small & micro businesses.

  • Creating community opportunities, to allow young people to stay and, contribute to their economy; this would also strengthen the Welsh language.

  • Central Government and Local Authorities, need to re-think how they allocate funding – large private v community enterprises; trusting and supporting communities, would ensure a healthier, more profitable and sustainable economic future for communities and their young people.

  • Need individuals from local communities in the tourism sector - they have local knowledge, knowledge of the areas history and, stories about the area.

  • Upskilling young people, specifically in digital skills and online marketing.

  • Link with transport in area – improve infrastructure - roads and transport.

  • Ensure local young people, have the opportunities to enter the local housing market – able to buy their own property.

  • Decarbonisation across all sector – need to educate the population.

Working together has been identified as a key component within the REF - what will make securing the input of young people easier in the region?

  • Relevance - make it relevant to young people.

  • Work with education sector, HE and FE; workshops in schools and 6th form; provide training/opportunities for younger people, to ensure that they are suitably educated on the subject matter; important that sectors link-up with graduate schemes; raise awareness of session/workshops like this e.g establishing contact with schools in the area, for wider opinion/feedback - more voices.

  • Communicating with high growth sectors and, with young people in schools is important so, that they understand the priority sectors in North Wales, whilst selecting their subjects.

  • Have a young person as part of the Welsh Governement; young people need to see results from it.

  • Need to create community courses for young people; create strong links, that connect education and community businesses and, ensure they develop the skills needed by local industry, for the economy to thrive.

  • Give them pride in their roles and, their communities – develop a mindset of having a career, that will contribute to their communities; appreciate the wellbeing benefits, of being successful in their communities.

  • Young people lack a sense of belonging and, do not see a future for themselves in their rural areas. Need to create a targeted investment programme, to attract and retain talented young people in rural communities.

  • More engagement with community groups, young farmers etc.

  • Adjust communication strategy; use questionnaires; use social media; give a fresh look – not too much writing and information.

What are the barriers to young people’s collaboration?

  • Lack of confidence to express their opinions, they often feel that they cannot, due to their lack of experience – this can restrict collaboration.

  • Timing can be an issue, when sharing information with young people - targeting schools, may be a good option.

  • People more ready to share information/opinions face to face, rather than over the internet.

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