There has been some good jobs news in North Wales over the past few weeks.
One of the most dynamic and innovative companies in Wales, Qioptiq based on St Asaph Business Park, have had the excellent news that they have won a new £82m contract with the Ministry of Defence. This is hugely significant for the company and North Wales.
I am very pleased that the Welsh Government is continuing to play a pivotal role in supporting the growth and expansion of Qioptiq by investing £2.5m in a new purpose designed facility for the company.
Work will begin immediately on the new 24,900 sq ft facility that the Welsh Govenrment will construct on land we own adjacent to Qioptiq’s premises. It will provide secure warehousing and manufacturing space to enable Qioptiq to achieve full operating capacity to deliver the MoD contract within the required timescale.
Earlier this month we also had the good news that Chetwood Financial Ltd, a new Financial services business, is to be established in Wrexham creating 90 high quality jobs with support from the Welsh Government.
This is a strategically important project for the professional and financial services sector and great news for Wales.
In addition, the Economy Secretary Ken Skates has announced £1m funding to establish a new business hub in Wrexham to support the creation of 100 new enterprises and the creation of 260 new jobs over the next two years.
The two year pilot will provide wrap round support for aspiring entrepreneurs linking with Glyndwr University, Coleg Cambria and industry and support agencies in the region.
We also launched a new Apprenticeship policy aligned to the needs of Welsh business and designed to increase skills levels in priority areas where shortages are reported. Our five year action plan sets out how we will deliver our commitment to create a minimum of 100,000 high quality apprentices in Wales over this Assembly term.
Apprenticeships are an essential ingredient of economic success, a vital tool in building a stronger, fairer and more equal Wales and it is crucial that apprentices have the right skills to meet current and future business needs.
Apprenticeships offer exciting opportunities in the region with Airbus, Horizon and RWE among the many companies who welcome apprentices.
The Welsh economy has undergone incredible advances in recent years with close to a record number of people in work and our employment rate increasing more than the UK average over the last 12 months. We are working hard to continue this momentum and to safeguard and attract quality jobs to communities right across Wales