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The region is set to lose two large employers when, following the Energy Act 2004, the Wylfa (pictured below) and Trawsfynydd nuclear power stations are decommissioned, resulting in the redundancy of a 1,200-strong workforce. The two power stations are currently at different stages in their lifecycle. Trawsfynydd has already been shut down and is being placed into its fi nal care and maintenance status. Wyfl a is still generating electricity with one reactor, as Reactor 2 was shut down in April.

The concern is for the workforce once both stations are fully decommissioned. They are highly technically skilled; in fact half of the workforce holds a degree or higher qualifi cation, which is signifi cantly higher than the average workforce in Wales. In order to keep these individuals working and ensure the region of North West Wales does not go into decline, a project named ‘Shaping the Future’ was developed.

Shaping the Future is a unique £4m talent management programme,

placing human

potential at the heart of economic success, combining investment opportunities with workforce development. It has two main objectives; one is to provide additional training and support for the 1,200 workers who are set to lose their jobs when the power stations are decommissioned. These new skills would need to be tailored to match the needs of new employers, thus ensuring employees arm themselves with as many new and relevant skills as possible, allowing them to tackle new industries.

The other main objective is to provide a platform for inward investment, collaborative working and cooperation between councils. The area is brimming with the technical and engineering skills that recruiters struggle to fi nd anywhere else in the UK and are a perfect fi t for emerging new technologies.

The project engages the public and private sector, drawing on investment and insights from two local councils; Gwynedd Council and the Isle of Anglesey County Council, the Welsh Government and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and combines this with support from private sector agencies with a common goal of delivering sustained economic and social development in North West Wales.

What has the project achieved so far?

Shaping the Future has been set up to anticipate what will happen in the region and plan accordingly, anticipating and capturing opportunities from changing markets and ensuring individuals are ‘skilled up’ for the future. It’s often the case that training programmes are abstract objectives which are brilliant in theory but hard to work in practice. Thanks to its realistic objectives and driven by a real necessity in the region, ‘Shaping the Future’ has really taken off and now has 770

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enrolees, after only being launched in April.

A recent survey of the workforce at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd has found nearly three-quarters believe the project will be useful to them. They are aware of the need to fi nd employment within three years but understandably want to stay in the region, where half of them have lived all their life. They also want to continue working in a similar industry.

The next challenge must be to target businesses to invest in the region, thus providing the much needed jobs for this skilled workforce. Often, human resources programmes concentrate on directing the workforce to where employment opportunities are instead of driving the location of a business to markets where these skills exist and can be leveraged.

This has three key benefi ts; it prevents a skills drain, offers fi rms a talented readily available workforce requiring minimal training and on a societal level helps protect and sustain communities to ensure their long-term viability. The public sector should not be afraid to help facilitate opportunities for private sector investment in development, on the contrary it is vital if we are to see the economy revive and thrive.


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Trawsfynydd at night public sector executive Jul/Aug 12 | 17

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