Inclusive Growth in Wales

Wales has the potential to lead the way in developing a more inclusive economy.

Experts at a round table discussion in July 2017 provided evidence of current inequalities in growth across the UK, as well as exploring how Wales could develop a more inclusive model.

There was recognition of the limits the Welsh Government’s powers in this area but also a consensus that more can be done using existing policy levers, and by providing leadership and frameworks to encourage action by others. Suggested key areas for action include:

  • The Well-being of Future Generations Act was viewed as an excellent framework for developing a new economic model that encourages sustainable growth across all parts of Wales, and puts the inclusive growth agenda at the heart of all major policy decisions;
  • City Deals were highlighted as a second potential vehicle for promoting inclusive growth – and their success could be assessed according to how well they achieve it;
  • Public sector procurement was agreed as a key lever for inclusive growth, with local procurement seen as key to boosting local economies. Public sector contracting could also be used more effectively to ensure that suppliers throughout the supply chain pay decent wages, create apprenticeships, employ local people and provide workers with opportunities for training and job progression;
  • Experts also called for government to support ‘everyday’ businesses, working with local employers to improve job quality and the development of resilient business models;
  • Progress towards inclusive growth should also be monitored, which experts argued demands that policymakers move beyond traditional indicators such as GVA and GDP.

The Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan, published in December 2017, put inclusive growth at the core of its vision, and several key action areas highlighted at this event were addressed as priorities.