Shaping The Future (North West Wales)
I was pleased recently to be invited to become an Ambassador for the Shaping the Future programme in North West Wales. This programme aims to ‘put human potential at the heart of regional development’ – an aim with which I immediately felt aligned; as I did also with the intention to create sustainable economic diversity by encouraging skills development, with retraining and redeployment for the highly-skilled employees of the Wylfa and Trawsynydd nuclear power sites as their careers are threatened by decommissioning over the next five to seven years.
It’s in absolutely no-one’s interests that large numbers of people should find themselves without jobs; we’ve seen that happen before when industries on which communities depend have shut down or relocated, and the result is distressing. For that reason alone I would be glad to support the Shaping the Future programme.
This programme however offers far more than simply remediation. It takes full account not only of the skills already available in such high-tech settings, but also of the potential for development of the green economy and for sustainability.
The decommissioning of plants as large as the Wylfa and Trawsynydd nuclear power sites has potential to leave their host communities isolated and unsupported, so the invitation to help ensure that does not happen is an opportunity I welcome warmly.
The accountable body for Shaping the Future is Menter Mon Cyf (a non-profit distributing body). It is led by Project Director Judy Craske, who has devised an ambitious set of objectives to be met over the next two or three years.
These objectives include skills development and external investment in industries such as aerospace, renewable low carbon energy, environmental goods and services, biosciences and professional services.
Given my perennial fascination with knowledge ecology and the workings and impact of big science, plus both the conviction that attention to economies at the regional level is critical and a long-term commitment to sustainable development, how could I let this opportunity to be involved pass by?
I look forward to reporting progress as I learn more about this unique programme.
Contact details for Shaping the Future are available here.