Wales launches drive to stop young people leaving as ‘brain drain’ threatens public services

‘We need to persuade more people to stay,’ minister says

Matt Mathers
Monday 18 October 2021 12:14
Comments

Extra support for business startups is among a range of measures being considered by Welsh ministers aiming to keep more young people in their homeland as the number of working age citizens falls.

The Welsh government is concerned that shrinking tax receipts will make it more difficult to pay for public services as young workers and graduates leave for big cities in other UK nations and abroad.

Vaughan Gething, the economy minister, will set out his plans for stopping the "brain drain" and attracting top talent to Wales during a summit with leaders from business, local government and trade unions on Monday.

The proposals form part of a wider strategy by ministers to boost the Welsh economy and continue its recovery from the Covid pandemic, which forced many businesses to close for months.

“It’s a really significant challenge for us. If we don’t have more people of working age in good work, we’ll end up with a smaller and smaller tax base," Mr Gething said of the demographic changes.

“We need to persuade more people to stay in Wales, more people to come back to Wales and more people to make Wales part of their story.

“We want to make best use of the talent we have as well as attracting people to Wales. People move to Wales to retire but it’s a great place to work as well.”

He added: “It’s about having a more optimistic vision about the future – you don’t have to get out to get on, there’s a really good environment for you in Wales, not just for business or work but a good place to live.”

The Welsh government also says it wants to help businesses forge stronger links with universities to create more attractive jobs and ensure "we have firms grounded in Wales who can provide future opportunities”.

According to official figures, 61 per cent of the Welsh population was of working age (16 to 64) last year. This is expected to fall to 58 per cent by 2048.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in