Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
The Welsh Business Secretary has launched the government’s Industrial Strategy, which sets out a long-term vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change and boast the earning power of people across the UK.
Through the Industrial Strategy the UK government will build on Wales’s reputation in the aerospace, steel, technology and life science sectors and create new opportunities.
With a clear ambition of boosting productivity and economic growth, the Industrial Strategy will benefit Wales by: increasing national research and development spending to 2.4 per cent by 2027, boosting Wales’s strength in research and innovation; sector deals for life sciences, construction, automotive and artificial intelligence; boosting 5G connectivity for Wales’s vital SMEs; delivering City and Growth Deals and cross border growth corridors to strengthen links between Wales and England; and Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund announcements for transforming construction, agriculture and productivity.
Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said: “This Industrial Strategy delivers on the conversations we have had with businesses and employees right across Wales.
“From the growth corridors which will facilitate more cross-border working, to the commitments to exploring city and growth deals to cover every part of the country, this is a strategy that plays to our economic strengths and address some of the big challenges we face.
“Wales also stands to benefit from the major investments in infrastructure and research, including the place based innovation fund and the sector deals for artificial intelligence, life sciences and construction– areas where we hold particular expertise across the length and breadth of Wales.
“This is the start of an exciting, long-term partnership with industry, academia, civil society and business. Together, we can make Wales a world leader in the areas we choose to compete in and play a key role in driving productivity and prosperity across the whole of the UK.”
Greg Clark, Business Secretary, said: “Our new, ambitious Industrial Strategy will build on the UK’s strengths, boost productivity and earning power and will ensure we are one of the most competitive places in the world to start and grow a business.
“We recognise no two economies within the UK are the same – for Wales, strengths include aerospace, agriculture and food and drink. But we also recognise that our Industrial Strategy is not something that is done to business, it is done with, and indeed, by business. This strategy is about firms from across the UK coming together and working with government to build a better, more productive UK economy – fit for the future. Wales is world renowned for its steel industry and the UK has a good track record in steel innovation based on both strong industrial heritage and outstanding research and development and the Steel Science Centre forms part of the £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Region Deal.”