Category: Out and About

#Youthjobs

Transport, lack of skills to enter the workforce, issues with work experience, careers advice, and lack of signposting towards things like apprenticeships are just some of the things young people said when discussing the barriers that exist when they are looking for work.

The National Assembly for Wales checks how the Welsh Government spends money, and what effect their policies are having on the people of Wales. One of the National Assembly’s committees, the Enterprise and Business Committee has looked into the challenges that young people face when they are trying to find a job.

Young people for all over Wales took part in video interviews with the National Assembly’s Outreach team, which were shown to the Assembly Members on the Committee.

The Committee also held an event in Swansea where they spoke with front line staff who work with and support young people on a daily basis, told the Committee what they felt the issues were and how they could be addressed.

Here are some pictures from the event:

 Two participants in discussion at the event in Swansea.  Three participants in discussion at the event in Swansea.

Four participants in discussion around a table at the workshop in Swansea.

For more images see our Flickr album.

After the event the Committee spoke with people at official meetings at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

The Committee have produced a report which they have sent to the Welsh Government. The report includes recommendations on things the Committee thinks the Welsh Government should do to make it easier for young people find work.

This video shows what young people told us, and the recommendations the Committee has made to the Welsh Government:

You can also read a summary of the report here (pdf, 184KB)

The Welsh Government will need to respond to the Committee’s recommendations, and the Committee will be keeping an eye on what progress they are making in delivering some of the changes suggested in the report.

How to get involved and keep up-to date with the Committee’s work

The Outreach team: Understanding and Engaging with the people of Wales

We’ve had a busy start to 2015 visiting groups across Wales delivering workshops about the National Assembly for Wales.

In January we attended a Community Event at Cardiff Story Museum which was organised by Cardiff Third Sector Council. We met with members of the public to inform them of the Assembly’s work and discussed different ways of engagement. We had a great day meeting new faces and telling people how they can have their views heard.

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Age Connects North Wales Central arranged Understanding and Engaging sessions for their forums across North Wales at the beginning of the year. We visited forums in St Asaph, Rhyl, Rhuthun, Corwen, Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay. During the visit to Age Connects in Corwen, Antoinette Sandbach came long and spoke to the group about her role as an Assembly Member.

Speaking after the workshop, Antoinette Sandbach AM said: “It was great to have an opportunity to discuss the work that I do in the National Assembly. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with such a lively, interested and well informed audience.”

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On 3 February we spoke to the All Wales People First Council during their National Council Residential Meeting. We spoke to them about Assembly Members that represent them in their area, what the Assembly are currently discussing and how they can get involved. Following on from this presentation we recently provided a workshop to Powys People First which focused on the 20 devolved areas in Wales and how to submit a petition to the Assembly.

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In February we worked with the UK Parliament Outreach team to deliver a session to a group of service users from Conwy Connect for Learning Disabilities in Colwyn Bay.

The aim of the session was to ensure that service users understand what the UK Parliament and Assembly do and who represents them in both.

Speaking after the session, Sue Davies, Conwy Connect Senior Co-ordinator said:

“We were delighted that the National Assembly Outreach Team and the Parliament Outreach Service partnered together to deliver a joint interactive and interesting workshop to our members which included people with learning disabilities, parent/carers and Voluntary organisations.  It was enjoyed by all – its not easy making politics interesting but they both did this through the use of photographs, videos and users friendly exercises.”

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After a visit to Interlink RCT in February Rachel Wyatt said the following about our workshops:

“The ‘Understanding and Engaging’ workshop gave people an excellent overview of the work of the National Assembly for Wales, who their local representatives are, how they can contact them and some of the different ways that people can become involved in the work of the Assembly”.

Our aim is to connect the people of Wales with the work of the Assembly by discussing:

  • Who represents you
  • How decisions made in the Assembly affect Wales and its people
  • How the Assembly hold the Welsh Government to account
  • How you can get involved in decisions made by the Assembly

If you would like to arrange an Understanding and Engaging workshop for your group, or are simply interested in our work, please contact us via email: contact@assembly.wales or phone us on 0300 300 6565.

You can follow us on twitter @SeneddOutreach / @SeneddAllgym to keep updated on visits as well as to learn about the work we do on behalf of committees. You can also visit our pages on the Assembly website.

Public Accounts Committee meets Irish counterparts

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PAC Chair Darren Millar AM with Huw Vaughan Thomas, Auditor General for Wales, and Committee Members Alun Ffred Jones AM, Julie Morgan AM and Aled Roberts AM outside Leinster House

On Wednesday 19 November 2014, four Members of the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee flew to Dublin to meet their counterparts in the Dáil Éireann – part of the Committee’s on-going work to improve its ways of working. They were accompanied by the Auditor General for Wales, who regularly meets his Irish counterpart, the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The Dáil and Seanad Éireann are the two Houses of the Oireachtas, which meet in Leinster House. Upon arrival in Dublin, Assembly Members joined their counterparts at Leinster House for a working dinner to share experiences and priorities with the Teachtaí Dála, or TDs, who sat on the Public Accounts Committee.

On Thursday 20 December, the Members returned to Leinster House to hold a private meeting with the Committee, followed by observing the Committee meeting in public session. They also were shown around Leinster House, and given an introduction to the workings of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The discussions between the Committees brought out the common themes in their work, and the challenges they both face. The two Public Accounts Committees were similar in many ways – like the Assembly’s PAC, the Dail’s is chaired by a member of the opposition – but this is by tradition, rather than statute – as it is in Wales.

In recent years Ireland has seen a dramatic reduction in public spending, making the role of the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee in ensuring value for money is being achieved all the more important, and challenging. The scale of the cuts was different, but Assembly Members and TDs all recognised the public’s ever greater expectations that taxpayer’s money be spent prudently and appropriately.

The TDs were interested that the National Assembly’s PAC had recently undertaken its own inquiries, in addition to those initiated by the Auditor General’s Value for Money studies – as an example, the PAC published a report on its inquiry on Senior Management Pay earlier in November.

The Dáil’s PAC was keen to do similar work but had been unable to do so with their existing standing orders. The National Assembly’s PAC will be providing further information on this new programme of work, to help assist their colleagues broaden their work.

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Meeting John McGuinness TD, Chair of the Dáil’s PAC

 

The Curriculum in Wales – over 1000 young people have their say!

Over the summer the Assembly spoke with over 1000 children and young people across Wales to capture their views on the curriculum, qualifications and assessments.

Through a survey which was promoted at summer events like the National Eisteddfod and Royal Welsh Show, young people were given an opportunity to tell us what skills and subjects should (or shouldn’t!) be taught in schools, how careers advice could be improved and what they thought about the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Assembly Outreach Bus

An amazing 1177 young people responded, from every region in Wales! The results have shown that financial literacy, politics and modern business languages (like Chinese) should be taught more in schools, and only 29% of respondents felt that what they were currently being taught in schools, adequately prepares them for later life and finding a job.

Once published, the survey results were shared with Assembly Members and the Assembly Committees. The Children, Young People and Education Committee shared the findings with Professor Graham Donaldson, who is leading the Welsh Government’s Review of the Curriculum and Assessment in Wales, and wrote of his gratitude in bringing the statistics to his attention.

Summer Event

The results were also considered by the Enterprise and Business Committee, as part of the Inquiry into Assisting Young People into Work. Parts of the inquiry focus on careers advice young people receive in schools, and the results highlight what a number of young people told them through video evidence – namely, that careers advice needs to be improved in schools to help young people decide how to go about finding work and getting the skills they need to do that.

Bethan Jenkins AM

Finally, Bethan Jenkins AM spoke recently spoke in a Plenary debate, about her desire to improve financial literacy skills in Wales. She would like to do so by asking the National Assembly to consider her Financial Education and Inclusion (Wales) Bill. The purpose of this law would be to promote financial literacy in the Welsh population by making it part of the school curriculum. She was able to use these results to successfully argue for the Bill’s consideration.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the survey, and for taking that opportunity to have their say!

Understanding and Engaging with the Assembly

Last month the National Assembly for Wales’s Outreach Team visited ten groups across Wales to provide Understanding and Engaging workshops and hosted three events in support of Assembly Business.

This month we met with 566 people to discuss the role of the Assembly and inform them of:

  • Who their representatives are
  • How decisions made at the Assembly affect the people of Wales
  • How the Assembly hold the Welsh Government to account
  • How they can get involved in decisions made by the Assembly

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The Benllech 50+ Group were a particularly lively bunch. While discussing the legislative process of the National Assembly for Wales we opened up the discussion and asked the group what changes they’d like to see. Chief among their priorities was a focus on tourism and transport, issues they said are very important to them in Anglesey.

Chair of the Group, Mrs Dilys Standish said after the session:

“We’ve just had a presentation from the Outreach Team [who are based] at Colwyn Bay. It was very interesting to know how the Welsh Assembly works and all the different ways we can, as a community, get involved with the Assembly.

A wonderful afternoon has been had by all and it was very informative.”

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A group from Women Making a Difference also came to us at the Senedd for a presentation this month. We had a very interactive session discussing how the group would prioritise spending if they were given control of the budget. This group were also very surprised to learn about the Assembly’s petitioning system and how simple the process was to understand.

Other groups we’ve visited groups this month range from Chwarae Teg in Cardiff to YMCA in Swansea and up to the West Flintshire Communities First cluster.

If your group would be interested in receiving an Understanding and Engaging workshop, or are simply interested in our work, please contact us via OutreachTeam@assembly.wales or phone us on 0300 200 6574.

This month we’ve also been busy supporting Assembly business by hosting the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee’s poverty roundtable event at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff and their site visits to projects and organisations all across Wales, and the Enterprise and Business Committee’s Tourism report launch in Aberglasney and their Assisting Younger People into work roundtable in Swansea. You can view the pictures from these events on the Assembly’s Flickr page.

Remember to keep up with our activities by following us on Twitter @SeneddOutreach or keep an eye on the ‘Assembly in your area’ section on the Assembly website.

Scouts Wales – Democracy Challenge Badge

Back in 2012 the National Assembly for Wales’ Outreach team formalised a partnership with Scouts Wales in order to provide them with resources for their Democracy Challenge Badge. The Democracy Challenge is intended to encourage young people to explore the democratic processes of the United Kingdom, Wales and Local Authorities in order that they are better placed to make their own judgements in the future and take an appropriate part in democracy in society.

Resources have been created by the Outreach team in order for leaders to have guidelines and activities in place to complete the requirements of the badge. Once completed the Scouts receive the badge below:

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Over the last couple of months the Outreach team have been busy promoting these resources with Scout leaders from all across Wales and have attended numerous events in order to do this.

Back in June the National Assembly for Wales’ Outreach bus was present at the Scouts Wales Scout Camp in Builth Wells and the Outreach team spoke to over 1,000 Scouts about the work of the Assembly. Scouts also received the opportunity to have their say on their recycling services by filling in a questionnaire.

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Following this the Outreach team visited a number of Scout groups across Wales to introduce them to the Democracy Challenge Badge and to help them on their way to completing the requirements. These groups included Wrexham Beaver and Cub Scouts. The group received an introductory workshop which gave them the opportunity to vote in a mini election. Following on from the workshop the group visited the Senedd in Cardiff in order to help them complete one of the requirements of the badge, which asks them to find out about the Senedd and to create a poster to explain to an adult who it is that meets there.

Wrexham Scouts

Susan Mort, the Cub Scout Leader said:

“Wrexham District cubs visited the Senedd in Cardiff to find out about how their Parliament works and to learn about the meaning of the structure and fabrics used in its construction which is all part of Wales heritage.

We had a successful visit from Caryl who works for the Outreach team visiting organisations giving presentations on the Welsh Assembly. Beavers and Cubs from 6 to 10 and a half years old found out about the Senedd then took a vote on what they thought was most important to them which included sport and education.

As young as they are, they all took part and the results showed how aware they are of the importance of things like education.”

On Saturday 18 September 2014 the Outreach Team were present at the Scouts Wales AGM and Conference at Builth Wells High School. We set up a stand with hard copies of the resources and information publications for leaders to take home with them.

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The Outreach team then had the opportunity to give a presentation on the partnership between the National Assembly for Wales and Scouts Wales with regards to the Democracy Challenge Badge, how leaders can get hold of resources and to encourage as many leaders as possible to take up the challenge with their groups.

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Following the AGM and Conference the Outreach Team spoke to Debbie Tanner who is the Senior Development Officer for Scouts Wales. Below, Debbie tells us what she thinks of the resources created for the Democracy Challenge Badge.

If you would like any further information on the resources, or would like a member of the Outreach team to come out and speak to your Scout group then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01492 523219 or outreachteam@wales.gov.uk

For any other updates on the work of the National Assembly for Wales, please follow our twitter page @AssemblyWales.

The Outreach Team: Helping the public to Understand and Engage with the Assembly

The Outreach Team works across the whole of Wales, travelling far and wide to visit groups and deliver workshops in order to support the democratic principles of the National Assembly for Wales.

For us, democracy is about citizens being informed of who represents them, how decisions made affect them and how they can get involved in those decisions.

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That’s why we offer our Understanding and Engaging workshops to groups all across Wales. We aim to connect the people of Wales with the work of the Assembly by discussing:

  • Who represents you
  • How decisions made in the Assembly affect Wales and its people
  • How the Assembly hold the Welsh Government to account
  • How you can get involved in decisions made by the Assembly

Scouts

Thus far this term we have engaged with over a thousand people to talk about the work of the Assembly. We’ve visited groups ranging from Scouts Wales to Swansea’s University of the Third Age, from Digartref Ynys Môn to Neath Port Talbot CVS in South Wales.

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We also exhibited at the Communities First Annual Conference in Llandudno where we met with representatives from Communities First clusters in all corners of Wales to discuss our work and, drawing on the conference theme, how we can work together toward a common goal for communities in Wales.

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The participants in each of our sessions have been great, many have noted how they hadn’t previously understood the difference between the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government, and questions have been varied and insightful, leading to some very passionate debates!

Here’s what one participant had to say:

“…I enjoyed Kevin’s talk to Swansea U3A today. I have only recently moved back to Wales after 40 years away and, frankly, have not got around to reading up how the Assembly works – after Kevin’s engaging talk I feel I’m now up to speed so a big thank you to him and his colleague.”

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If your group would be interested in receiving an Understanding and Engaging workshop, or are simply interested in our work, please contact us via OutreachTeam@wales.gov.uk or phone us on 01492 523220.

To learn more about where the Outreach team have been recently and which organisations and groups we’ve been visiting, as well as to learn about the work we do on behalf of committees, please visit our pages on the Assembly website.

Scrutiny of the First Minister

On 9th October, local school children, councillors and residents joined the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister at the Hywel Dda Centre, Whitland to witness Wales’ First Minister being held to account.

Before the meeting there was a chance for Committee Members to speak to the young people and others about the important issues the Committee was considering.

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The Committee then quizzed the First Minister on matters relating to constitutional change, following the referendum on Independence in Scotland, as well as on a number of local issues.

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The volunteer staff of the centre demonstrated with warmth and delicious Welsh cakes the kind of hospitality that backs up some people’s belief that ‘West is best’.

Here are some of the Committee team preparing for the event!

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As well as questions from the four Members of the Committee, the Chair put a number of questions to the First Minister received from members of the public via Twitter as well as pupils from schools across Wales.

Here are the Committee Members with some of those who came along on the day.

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This was a memorable occasion showcasing the Assembly working outside the capital, engaging in local issues and involving communities in a frank and lively scrutiny session.

Assembly Summer events: my first Royal Welsh Show

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By Julian Price, Social Media Manager

Now that the annual summer events at the National Assembly for Wales have come to an end, what better time to reflect on my experience at this year’s Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells.

It was the first time I’ve been to the Royal Welsh, and the weather was beautiful. It was very warm with temperatures rising into the mid-twenties the entire time we were there, so drinking plenty of water was a must. It was HOT!

Being part of the communications team, I remember discussing the event in early spring to arrange who would be travelling to the show and how we could promote our attendance on social media.

I volunteered to travel with my colleagues to Builth Wells. I was still in primary school when I lasted visited the showground when Adam Ant and the Human League were riding high in the charts! Yep, that’s how long ago it was.

We arrived on the Sunday to prepare the stand for the following day. The building looked amazing. I was really proud of the work the Communications team had done in promoting our presence on social media. (See photo)

We ensured all literature, chairs, tables and refreshments were to hand for the opening day. We were anticipating taking photographs of visiting Assembly Members and Ministers during the event; however, nothing could have prepared us for the first photo.

Monday morning and we had just opened the doors of the stand to the public. My colleague Rhian called over to me to urgently grab the camera and run outside.

“Quick” she said, “I think the Prime Minister is coming!”

I duly ran outside and sure enough Prime Minister David Cameron, with the newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabbe, was passing our doorway. I briskly walked ahead to gain a ‘head-on’ image.

I was rather nervous as the Prime Minister’s security had clearly taking an interest in me. Thankfully I was wearing a fully branded National Assembly for Wales t-shirt with an official pass.

I managed to capture a photo of the Prime Minister and it was only after reviewing the images that I realised he had looked straight into the camera. We tweeted the image on our @AssemblyWales Twitter account, and I believe we were the first organisation or individual to do so. As you may know he is the first serving Prime Minister to visit the Royal Show. History in the making!

My only regret was not inviting him onto the Assembly stand and this is something I really wish I had done.

After returning to the Assembly stand, I spoke with the former Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Marian Lewis, at some length about the proposed closure of Junction 41 of the M4, the new Swansea University campus on Fabian Way and the film studios that are located at the old Ford/Visteon factory.

It was an insightful conversation and I learned a lot in such a small space of time about some of the ongoing issues in that region.

Throughout Monday and Tuesday several Assembly Members visited the Assembly stand and it was a great opportunity to discuss promoting the work of the Assembly on social media. I took the opportunity to capture a photo of all visiting AMs holding their constituency map cards and we later posted these images on social media.

On my last day at the Royal Welsh Show, the Assembly, in partnership with Nominet, held an event to raise the profile of the upcoming (.Wales and .Cymru) web domain names. The Assembly will be a founder user of (.Wales) and is very proud to be using this new profile.

The event was held at the S4C building at the Main Ring and I used this opportunity to take some photos of our Presiding Officer Dame Rosemary Butler speak about the upcoming launch. It was a great event with people from all around Wales attending the function. Ieuan Evans was the host and he spoke passionately about being Welsh and what it meant to him.

For more information about the .Wales and .Cymru launch, please click here.

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The Royal Welsh Show upheld its reputation as the biggest and best-attended event of its kind in Britain. I am already looking forward to attending next year’s event and will ensure our social media coverage will be bigger and more varied than ever before.

Thank you Llanelwedd.

Julian Price is the Social Media Manager at the National Assembly for Wales. He has managed the increase in our online activity over the last twelve months, using social media to promote the work of the Assembly. The Royal Welsh Show is a great example of online and offline collaboration between teams to promote our presence at an event.

For more information about the Assembly on social media, please see our webpage:

http://www.assemblywales.org/en/help/Pages/Social-media.aspx

Cadw Open Doors 2014

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 On 20 September 2014 the National Assembly for Wales will open its doors to the public as part of Cadw’s annual Open Doors event. Hundreds of attractions across Wales will be offering free entry, activities or events throughout September, with some unique buildings even allowing public access for the first time.

Visitors to the Assembly estate will take a journey through time, discovering the history of Cardiff Bay and the National Assembly for Wales, with access to some areas not usually open to the public.

The tour will cover the three buildings within Assembly estate:

  • The Senedd, a modern parliamentary building, one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings in Wales and home of the debating chamber of the Assembly;
  • The Pierhead, a historic late Victorian building which is now a museum and exhibition centre, and;
  • Ty Hywel, the original home of the Assembly’s debating chamber alongside offices of both Assembly Members and staff.

Date: 20 September 2:00pm

Booking is essential as we can only offer a limited number of places on this exclusive behind the scenes tour.

Please call 0845 0105500 or 01492 523 200 to book your place.

Address: National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA
Travel information: The bendy bus leaves from Cardiff Queen Street Station and Cardiff Central station every 10 minutes. Train services are every 12 minutes from Cardiff Central Station to Cardiff Bay Station. The station is a few minutes’ walk from the Senedd and the Pierhead building. Leave the M4 at junction 33, follow the A4232 to Cardiff bay and follow signposts to National Assembly for Wales. By Bike/foot, the Taff Trail from Brecon through Cardiff city centre to Cardiff bay ends at the oval basin outside the Senedd.

If you can’t make it on 20 September you can still visit the Senedd and Pierhead buildings which are open to the public seven days a week. You can have a cup of coffee in the Senedd Oriel on the upper level, and go into the public galleries from the Neuadd on the centre level. And it is not just visitors that come to see and enjoy the Senedd – we also have performers, singers, exhibitions and all sorts of activities happening regularly.

Cadw Open Doors is an annual celebration of the architecture and heritage of Wales and is part of European Heritage Days, which take place in 50 European countries each year in September.

For more information, including other participating attractions around Wales, please see the Cadw website:

http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/opendoors/?lang=en

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