We were pleased to catch up with Peter Davies, Wales Commissioner for Sustainable Futures and Chair of the Climate Change Commission. Peter was kind enough to share his views on Jobs Growth Wales and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill.
I am delighted to be able to contribute to the 3SC newsletter in my role as Commissioner for Sustainable Futures - an independent public appointment by Welsh Government to provide independent advice, support and scrutiny on Welsh Government’s statutory duty to promote sustainable development. Sustainable development has been an integral part of the devolution journey in Wales and we are about to take the next step on the journey with the introduction of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill. This new legislation is intended to provide a framework for how the public sector does business in Wales with a focus on a set of long term goals, underpinned by measures of progress, combined with a set of governance principles.
The way in which we work to support young people in maximising their potential to make a contribution to the economy, society and the environment must be at the heart of our long term development path as a nation. Jobs Growth Wales is playing a critical role in this respect as a partnership between government and employers to provide young people with the first steps in a challenging labour market connecting opportunities for growth and innovation with the potential skills and drive of young people.
Research continually shows that young people – particularly those who are currently unemployed still face stigma and negative stereotyping by many employers across all sectors. Jobs Growth Wales is breaking down those stereotypes and proving that these young people can make major contributions to the success of organisations, while also providing the platform for improving the long term skill base we will need for a prosperous Wales ,which is defined in the Future Generations Bill as “a low carbon emission economy that makes more efficient and proportionate use of resources; and which generates wealth and provides employment opportunities for a skilled and well educated works force.”
As Chair of the Climate Change Commission I am very conscious of the opportunity that low carbon – or green growth – provides for young people. There is no doubt that our economy is undergoing an accelerating transition to low carbon. It is important that organisations involved in Jobs Growth Wales ensure that they are providing that grounding in skills and maximising the contribution of young people who need to enter work with resource and energy efficiency as a basic skill. While I very much recognise that there is still work to do in our education system to ensure that programmes of Education for Sustainable Development really deliver the knowledge skills and attitudes needed for sustainable workplaces.
I hope that employers signed up to Jobs Growth Wales will also sign up to the Sustainable Development Charter as a demonstration of their commitment to contribution to the long term goals for Wales. Equally I want to ensure that the current 250+ Charter signatories see a commitment to Jobs Growth Wales as a most important and tangible step in ensuring that we are providing young people right opportunities at the start of their working life.
I also hope that these young people will be able to contribute now to shaping the Wales that they want both through their involvement in Jobs Growth Wales but also through becoming involved in the national conversation on the Wales We Want. This conversation will help to shape the long term development path for Wales and identify the measures of progress that matter to the people of Wales so we ensure our vision for the wellbeing of Future Generations.
So I hope you will visit www.thewaleswewant.org.uk and sign up as a future champion.