Issue date
05 Oct 2015

Wales TUC: Valleys Communities Need Better Jobs, Closer to Home

The Wales TUC has today (Monday) launched a major campaign demanding ‘Better Jobs, Closer to Home’ for valleys communities which it says are caught in a ‘perfect storm of deindustrialisation, recession and austerity’. 

The concentration of poverty and lack of economic opportunity in the valleys has led the body which speaks for Welsh trade unions to call for a new approach.

Wales TUC will today (Monday) present its detailed case for action to the First Minister Carwyn Jones, Finance Minister Jane Hutt and senior business and industry representatives at the Wales Council for Economic Renewal. 

The Wales TUC says that new powers available to Wales can form the core of a fresh approach to create real employment in the Valleys and dispel the myths that discourage business investors.  In August the Welsh Government gaining additional powers allowing it reserve public contracts for organisations which support disadvantaged people into work. ‘Disadvantage’ includes those who find it hardest to get work - the long term unemployed, young people, lone parents, disabled people and those with no qualifications.

The Wales TUC wants significant public spending projects to be used ensure that people shut out of the labour market are able to find decent work in the heart of their own communities. The campaign will also highlight the challenge many face in juggling caring commitments with work and the gruelling cost of working on zero hours contracts.

Wales TUC General Secretary, Martin Mansfield said:

“Better jobs closer to home sounds a simple demand but we have backed it up with carefully thought out proposals and evidence.

“The free market has failed valleys people for decades and where there is market failure there is a need for governments to intervene.

“Of course there is disadvantage in other parts of Wales, but the area suffering the largest number and the highest percentage of deprivation is the valleys.

“These are not just economic statistics, these are people without jobs, families living with poverty, whole communities blighted and held back.

“We want Welsh government to use the new powers it has to deliver real opportunities and decent work where the need is greatest.

“Without focussed, co-ordinated and practical intervention to help kick start the valleys economy, Wales will never make real economic progress as a nation – and what’s more we won’t deserve to.

“Wales can’t prosper while the valleys struggle.”