The Wales Co-operative Centre has welcomed the Prosperity for All strategy announced by the government on 20 September. Outlining his government’s priorities, first minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said the strategy will focus on six key areas of action: childhood; housing; social care; mental health; skills; and employability.
He said: “Today we publish a new national strategy designed to bring together the efforts of the whole public sector towards this government’s central mission of delivering Prosperity for All.
“Prosperity is about far more than material wealth and cannot be delivered by economic growth alone. It is about every person in Wales enjoying a good quality of life, living in a strong, safe community and sharing in the prosperity of Wales.
“This strategy takes our commitments in taking Wales forward, places them in a long-term context, and sets out how they will be delivered in a smarter, more joined up way that cuts across traditional boundaries, both inside and outside government.”
According to the first minister, the strategy’s key objectives are delivering the right support for people and businesses, addressing regional inequalities and promoting fair work, and driving sustainable growth.
The Welsh government pledges to develop to a new economic contract between businesses and government to stimulate growth, increase productivity and make Wales “fairer and more competitive”.
As part of this approach, the government commits to simplifying and rationalising the range of financial support it offers to companies; to developing a modern, smarter regulatory framework; and establishing a new Development Bank of Wales, improving access to finance for businesses.
The government will also use its business support to build capacity and innovation within home-grown businesses including local supply chains, to enable more to be procured from businesses in Wales.
Derek Walker, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “The new national strategy signals a step in the right direction towards building a more inclusive economy.
“Welsh government has put more focus on spreading opportunity, addressing regional equalities and promoting fair work. The proposal for a new economic contract between business and government could see businesses expected to do more to create a fairer society in return for Government’s support. I would expect the social businesses we work with will welcome this proposal.
“By their very nature, social enterprises and co-operatives consider the social and environmental impact of their work alongside the bottom line. The Wales Co-operative Centre has already put inclusive economic growth at the heart of our new strategy. We look forward to working with Welsh government to make it a reality”.