Tag Archives: Wales

Sign Up To Attend The Severn Growth Summit In January 2018

The UK Government has committed to abolishing the Severn Tolls by the end of 2018. Sign up to attend the Severn Growth Summit to see how you can benefit

Severn Crossing

Severn Crossing

The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns has announced that he will host the first cross-border, Severn Growth business summit on 22 January 2018 at the Celtic Manor Resort.

He is calling on local partners and businesses from across the South West of England and the South East of Wales to come together to explore how links between the two economies can be strengthened following the announcement of the abolition of the Severn Tolls.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

Our decision to abolish the Severn tolls sends a powerful message to businesses, commuters and tourists that the UK Government is committed to strengthening the Welsh economy.

By strengthening the links between communities in south Wales and south-west England, we will transform the joint economic prospects of both regions, creating a growth corridor stretching from Cardiff through Newport to Bristol.

I want to ensure that visitors and investors know what Wales has to offer and I want the world to know our nation is open for business.

You can sign up to attend the Severn Growth Summit here

Cardiff University And University Of Wales Trinity St. David Join Student Visa Pilot

Welsh universities join 23-strong list of institutions taking part in UK Government programme to attract international students

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

A pilot which is looking at streamlining the process for international Masters students wanting to study in the UK has been extended to two Welsh universities, the Immigration Minister announced today (Monday 18 December).

Currently in its second year with the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, the pilot will streamline the process for international students looking to study on a Masters course of 13 months or less in the UK. It also provides greater support for students who wish to switch to a work visa and take up a graduate role, by allowing them to remain in the UK for 6 months after they have finished their course.

Universities taking part are given responsibility for eligibility checks, meaning that students can submit fewer documents than required in the current process alongside their visa applications. Applicants that do not meet immigration rules will be refused. All students will continue to require Home Office security and identity checks.

The additional 23 universities to benefit from the pilot include Cardiff University and The University of Wales Trinity St. David as well as two in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and universities from across England.

Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said:

I am delighted to announce the expansion of this pilot which is part of our ongoing activity to ensure that our world-leading institutions remain highly competitive.

The UK continues to be the second most popular destination for international students and the number coming to study at our universities has increased by 24% since 2010.

This is a clear indication that genuine students are welcome and there is no limit on the number who can come to study in the UK.

Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said:

We welcome the opportunity to take part in the expanded Tier 4 visa pilot. Cardiff University is home to over 7,000 international students from over 100 countries, and we have seen first-hand the positive impact they have, both on our community and on the economy of Cardiff and Wales.

We look forward to participating in the Tier 4 visa pilot and its evaluation to give our international students the opportunities they deserve and to strengthen our global partnerships.

The most recent Home Office statistics show that the number of students applying for visas increased by 8% over the past year, and there has been a 9% increase in the number of students applying to Russell Group universities.

The 23 additional universities will be able to apply the pilot to their 2018/19 intake. The universities were selected as their visa refusal rates are consistently the lowest in their area or region.

Wales’ Prosperity Is Underpinned By The Efforts And Aspirations Of Our Top 300 Firms

Alun Cairns writes in the Western Mail's Top 300 Businesses in Wales supplement

Alun Cairns

Alun Cairns

Since 2010 the UK Government has consistently and robustly put in place measures to help rebuild and nurture the UK economy.

We have announced the end of Severn Tolls, delivered City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea, initiated the largest and most ambitious programme of investment in rail infrastructure since the 19th Century and seen several multi-million pound defence contracts awarded to companies across the length and breadth of Wales – to name just a few.

We have also had to make some tough decisions along the way, and many have asked us to change tack.

But what we are seeing now proves they have been the right decisions. Our consistency in tackling the deficit whilst making the UK a good place to do business means that, not only are we seeing an economy that is growing, but it is one that continues to create more jobs and continues to confound those who seek to talk it down.

Since 2010, Wales continues to be the fastest growing part of the UK outside London.

Welsh businesses can take their share of credit for what Britain has achieved in the years since the financial crisis.

Over the last year, we have seen further investment from businesses here in Wales.

In Newport, the train manufacturer CAF is expected to create 200 skilled jobs in its new factory, following a £30 million investment.

On a recent visit to North Wales, I saw for myself how healthcare company Ipsen is diligently expanding with a £22 million investment in its Wrexham site. The company has invested around £100million over the last three years on its North Wales footprint – securing high skilled jobs for the long-term.

As we celebrate this good news, we should keep clearly in mind what it all really means.

It’s not simply numbers on a balance sheet, but an investment in people’s livelihoods and the economic security of families across Wales.

It is a vote of confidence in Wales – in our talents, our skills, our infrastructure and our ideas. But our job now is to look to the future.

If the last ten years have seen us rebuilding our economic position, the next ten years must see the beginning of a new chapter in the story of the Welsh economy.

Because for all our progress, there is still a long way to go. The only way to achieve a stronger, better balanced economy and improve living standards across Wales in the long term is to improve our productivity.

That is the key goal of the recently launched Industrial Strategy White Paper – a strategy that invests in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future to raise productivity and wages in all parts of our country. I want to ensure that we are putting our best foot forward to maximise the benefits for Wales from the initiatives and grand challenges it presents.

Our approach to the Industrial Strategy reflects our ambitions for the British economy as we leave the European Union.

A more productive, dynamic, innovative, world leading economy which embraces technological change and is globally focussed.

Indeed, the UK Government announced recently that Cardiff has been chosen to be one of ten new regional hubs across the UK for emerging tech firms.

That announcement is clear evidence of our commitment to Wales and confirms its position at the leading edge of technology and digital development.

It also underlines the Government’s support across the UK for digital start-ups and the expansion of existing businesses in the technology sector.

And of course, the UK Government has set out the way forward for a comprehensive and ambitious series of City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea, is progressing with a growth deal for North Wales and is opening discussions on a growth deal for the Mid Wales region.

These City Deals are not about carving out separate and isolated enclaves.

Quite the reverse. They are about creating a network of regional economic powerhouses capable of forging mutually beneficial connections and linkages.

The value of connectivity is clear beyond doubt. Just look at the natural business flows within the UK and across the border of Wales and England.

We want to build on those vital economic connections through growth corridors.

Between Deeside, Manchester and Merseyside we have one of the strongest manufacturing corridors in the UK. And between Bristol, Newport and Cardiff we have one of the strongest digital and creative corridors in the UK.

This is why abolishing the Severn tolls will deliver a £100m boost to South Wales. We are investing in cross-border rail such as the £16.1 million investment in the Halton Curve sending a direct message to businesses, commuters and tourists alike that we are committed to strengthening the links between the economies of England and Wales. Collaboration clearly designed for mutual benefit.

And in order to exploit this, I will host a Summit in the New Year at to bring together local partners from across the South West of England and South Wales to explore how we can further strengthen the links between the two economies.

As we seek to create a more outward looking, global Britain following our departure from the EU, I want to make sure that Welsh companies stand ready to exploit every opportunity our new trade relationships with the world can bring.

This year, I undertook trade missions to both Japan and Qatar- two powerhouse economies where we are looking to build on existing business links thought a new daily flight to Doha secured recently with the support of UK Government, as well as look at further opportunities for UK companies and institutions to operate in the region.

We want to make sure that Welsh firms, like those in this Top 300 list, capitalise on the support available from the Department of International Trade to enable them to not just trade in markets like Asia and the Middle East, but to thrive there.

From export advice, trade missions or access to the UK’s 1,200 staff in 108 countries worldwide – there is a world class resource that businesses in Wales continue to tap in to.

And I firmly believe that the local support offered in Wales complements the support offered by UK Government.

Our success in global markets hinges on playing to the strengths that Wales has in abundance – a highly skilled workforce, an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive among our business leaders to succeed at home and overseas.

The growth we are seeing is a result of the efforts business like the Top 300 firms in Wales have invested. UK Government may be able to create the conditions for growth, but it is you that make it happen.

Read about the Top 300 businesses in Wales here

Welsh Secretary: “Cross-Border Working Can Be The Catalyst To Wales’ Future Prosperity”

Alun Cairns lays down growth corridor challenge at Cardiff Breakfast Club event

Severn Crossing

Severn Crossing

  • 1st UK Government Severn Growth Summit to be held at Celtic Manor Resort in Newport on 22 January 2018
  • Alun Cairns makes clarion call for Welsh businesses to capitalise on cross border opportunities at Cardiff Breakfast Club event.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will challenge industry on both sides of the Wales-England border to “think big to shape and transform our economic future” when he addresses an audience of business leaders in Cardiff this morning (Friday 15 December).

Speaking at the Cardiff Breakfast Club event, Mr Cairns will say “economic opportunities do not stop at political or administrative boundaries” and that the “development of growth corridors will spread prosperity across Wales and enable the nation to compete on a global stage”.

The Secretary of State will announce that he will host the first cross-border, Severn Growth business summit on 22 January at the Celtic Manor Resort. He will call on local partners and businesses from across the South West of England and the South East of Wales to come together to explore how links between the two economies can be strengthened following the announcement of the abolition of the Severn Tolls.

The speech comes following the launch of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy last month which included the goal of developing growth corridors spanning the Welsh and English border to spread prosperity and enable Wales to compete on a global stage.

Mr Cairns will say that these corridors, coupled with the City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea and Growth Deals for North and Mid Wales will be the “building blocks needed to enable businesses and people to transform their local communities, their economies and their lives”.

During his speech, the Secretary of State will also take the opportunity to highlight the Cardiff’s “remarkable economic heritage” and its status as “a powerful engine of economic growth” for the whole of the UK.

Mr Cairns will say:

Cardiff is connecting itself to the rest of the country like never before, and having a powerhouse of industry, innovation and skills right here in our Capital City, is beneficial to the whole of Wales and the rest of the UK.

To achieve all of its potential, Cardiff must be competing in the premier league of European cities. From our outstanding universities, the improvements being made to its infrastructure and its credentials as a go to destination for major events, the city has the talent, the opportunities and the determination to rival the best in Europe, if not the world.

The Severn Growth Summit will bring a panel of speakers from leading global businesses, and higher education institutions together from either side of the border to highlight the opportunities that await from closer collaboration.

Those interested in attending the Severn Growth Summit will be able to sign up through the Eventbrite website from Friday onwards. A full list of panel speakers will be announced shortly.

Welsh Secretary Continues Engagement On EU Exit In Wales

Alun Cairns to chair fourth meeting of Expert Panel in Cardiff

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

The UK Government will continue its unprecedented level of engagement on EU Exit in Wales, when the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns convenes the fourth meeting of his Expert Panel in Cardiff today (Thursday 14 Dec).

Alun Cairns will gather representatives from the business, agriculture and third sectors in Wales at Caspian Point to discuss their priorities for Brexit and to update them on negotiations and the progress of the Withdrawal Bill.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

It is vital that we have open and honest conversations about what Wales – and the UK as a whole – should look like after our exit from the European Union. This includes discussing the challenges that we may face along the way, and the opportunities that await us at the finish line.

That is why I am working with an Expert Panel of stakeholders to examine the implications of EU exit for Wales across all sectors.

As we proceed through the negotiations we will go on hearing from these important partners, to ensure that our discussions are informed by the views of every region of the UK, and each sector of our economy.

The Withdrawal Bill is a key piece of legislation in the national interest which will convert EU law to UK law on exit day, ensuring we leave the EU with certainty, continuity and control. The Bill is expected to complete Commons committee stage before Christmas.

The Secretary of State for Wales established the Expert Panel to work with him to deliver a smooth and orderly exit from the EU in Wales. The fourth meeting today builds on the constructive conversations they have already had, helping to contribute to the UK’s negotiating position.

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