WELSH Labour candidate for Llanelli Lee Waters was joined by First Minister Mark Drakeford as the party pledges to create 125,000 new all-age apprenticeships in the next Senedd term.
On a visit to EBS Automation, a specialist manufacturer in Dafen, Lee said the focus of a re-elected Welsh Labour Government would be creating more opportunities for middle sized firms to manufacture more of the goods currently made overseas.
In the last Senedd term, the Welsh Government exceeded its target to create 100,000 all age apprenticeships. The ambition in the next term (2021-2026) is to go 25,000 higher, giving people of all age’s high quality routes into better jobs.
The pledge goes alongside Labour’s flagship commitment to provide work, education or training to everyone under the age of 25.
During the visit to EBS, Lee Waters, who is also the Deputy Economy Minister, said:
“Since I was elected in 2016, I have been pushing for a different approach on the economy – one that backs small local firms that make up the so-called ‘foundational economy’. We’ve seen during the pandemic that these firms can create quality products like face masks and visors, but why stop there? Coming to somewhere like EBS in Dafen, where local people are engaged in highly skilled work, we can see a stronger future for our economy, one where more of the goods we need are manufactured locally. If I’m re-elected for another term as MS for Llanelli, my priority will be creating more opportunities for these firms to do just that.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“It was a pleasure to visit EBS Automation in Dafen with our fantastic candidate Lee Waters. As we work together to move forward from this pandemic, Welsh Labour is fired with the ambition to create the different, sustainable, exciting Welsh economy of the future, built on quality local employers like EBS. We have the experience and the ambition to lead Llanelli’s and Wales’ recovery.”
Welcoming the pledge to create 125,000 apprenticeships, Mike Evans of EBS said:
“Apprentices are absolutely vital to us as a business. 25% of our team have benefitted from apprenticeships. As an small business, government support is vital for us being able to take on that many young people, and they are the lifeblood of our industry.”