‘Construction key to building sustainable Wales’ – Jeremy Miles

Construction key to building sustainable Wales' – Jeremy Miles

Wales will need an additional 11,000 construction workers to support its growing economy, the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Energy, and Welsh Language, tells a Construction Summit in Llandudno Junction.

Speaking to delegates from the North Wales construction sector, Jeremy Miles emphasised the importance of the private and public sectors working together to meet this demand. He set out his vision to ensure rapid growth and improvement, including:

  • working with the new Commission for Tertiary Education & Research to ensure that the education system meets employer needs, offering courses that address specific gaps in construction skills;
  • creating more employment spaces and investment-ready sites through direct intervention, grants, and partnerships to stimulate significant economic growth;
  • decarbonising social housing, ensuring homes are sustainable, high-quality, and affordable to heat through the new Welsh Housing Quality Standard 2023, which builds on the £2 billion invested in the original Welsh Housing Quality Standard programme;
  • ensuring that both public and private sectors are using available tools to address challenges in recruitment, retention, training, and supply chain flexibility. The goal is to drive a shared Net Zero Carbon ambition, innovating with low carbon materials, and adopting modern construction methods.

Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, Ken Skates, also addressed the event and emphasised there are many opportunities for the construction sector in North Wales.

Jeremy Miles said: “The construction industry has a huge impact on our economy and society. It creates jobs, drives economic growth, and offers solutions to social, climate, and energy challenges. We are already doing a lot of things right in Wales, with many countries looking at our efforts to transition to a prosperous, sustainable future with fair work at its heart.

“That is not to say we do not acknowledge the challenges construction employers face, the creation of a future talent pipeline, the identification of key projects and the need to support innovation are issues that need further backing. My message to the sector in North Wales is clear: whether through building vital infrastructure for a greener, more sustainable future or maximising opportunities presented by Free Ports and Investment Zones, the construction industry is crucial to shaping the Wales of tomorrow.”

Ken Skates said: “I’m pleased this event is taking place in North Wales focussed on the construction sector in the region. 

“Part of my role as Cabinet Secretary for North Wales is to champion  the interests of our communities, businesses and institutions. It’s about ensuring our policies reflect the circumstances, challenges and opportunities in the North.

“We can achieve so much more by working together, and with exciting developments across the region, this is an exciting time for the sector.”

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