Ken Skates - Clwyd South MS and Minister for the Economy
Ken Skates - Clwyd South MS and Minister for the Economy

It’s great to join so many friends and colleagues from across the country to help launch Welsh Labour’s campaign for the Senedd elections.

As Economy Minister it really has been a genuine privilege to work with and alongside you all over this last term.

Whether it’s been working with Mark and Vaughan in government making sure we protect workers, safeguard jobs and support businesses through the pandemic.

Or with my friend and great colleague Carwyn Jones and our soon to be Labour Senedd member Sarah Murphy in fighting for Ford workers and manufacturing jobs in Bridgend.

I’ve been proud to work with you and proud of the bold and practical changes we have made to our economy and to public transport in Wales over these last few years.

It has been a values driven, Welsh Labour agenda.

We can point to real and meaningful changes in the way we’re shaping the future of the Welsh economy that wouldn’t have happened with any other party.

We’ve made our economy stronger, more equal, more highly skilled.

  • To make Wales a Fair Work Nation – our new Economic Contract has now been adopted by more than 13,000 firms and puts fair work and at the heart of Welsh Government support. We’ve repealed oppressive anti-trade union legislation and through our Ethical Code in Supply Chains we’re protecting workers’ rights and tackling blacklisting
  • To make Wales a Prosperous Nation – We’ve set up the UKs first ever Development Bank to help small and medium sized businesses to grow; we’ve cut the tax of every small business in Wales, we’ve set up the new £20m Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in North Wales and we’ve got diggers in the ground on the £750m electrification of the Metro.
  • To make Wales a Skilled Nation – We’ve delivered on our manifesto commitment to deliver 100,000 high quality all age apprenticeships and over the last decade supported more than 19,000 young people to get a job and a head start through our Jobs Growth Wales programme.

But this last year has been difficult beyond words.

The pandemic has torn at the very fabric of our communities – threatening jobs and pushing businesses to the brink.

But I’m proud that we’ve stood by our workers and firms through the dark days.

To protect lives and livelihoods.

  • So far through the pandemic we’ve delivered more than £2bn in business support.
  • Protected more than 165,000 jobs.
  • And supported our critical public services, including bringing our Wales and Borders Rail network back into public ownership.

But now the conversation has to turn to tomorrow. To the work of recovery.

To the greener, stronger and fairer economy Welsh Labour will build in the next term.

We’ve laid the foundations:

  • We’ve published our new Economic Reconstruction Plan, new climate change targets and a bold new Transport Strategy to support the green infrastructure, jobs and industries of tomorrow.
  • We’ve established a new £500m Fund in the Development Bank to support small businesses with patient finance they will need through the recovery to help them grow and expand.
  • And we’ve got plans for a new Social Partnership Bill next term that will put Fair Work right at the heart of everything we do as a government.

We’re ready to go.

Ready at this election to Move Wales Forward.

Thank you.


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