The Programme for Government annual report - the most comprehensive record of Welsh Government progress ever produced - tracks progress on over 300 indicators of government work. It delivers on a pledge made by the First Minister in September 2011 to be transparent and give access to statistics and analysis on the progress Wales is making as a country.
Actions Ministers have taken since September to deliver on the Programme for Government and areas of particular progress include:
- A £40 million Wales SME Investment Fund to provide loans for small businesses to help them expand.
- A successful pilot of a £75 million Jobs Growth Wales pilot which will now roll out to create 4000 opportunities annually for 16 – 24 year olds.
- A Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan outlining how more than £3.5 billion will be spent on capital projects ranging from hospitals to schools to roads.
- Support to 4000 individuals between April 2011 and March 2012 through our Business Start Up Service resulting in the creation of 660 enterprises and 1752 jobs.
- Five Enterprise Zones operational across Wales and a further two announced.
- An 80% success rate in the number of apprentices who complete each step of their training with companies compared to 54% five years ago.
- Improving waiting times for patients by over 68% since March 2011 for those waiting over 36 weeks. 94% of patients are now waiting fewer than 26 weeks for treatment.
- Circulatory disease in under-75s continuing to fall.
- Municipal waste recycling is up and the highest in the UK.
The First Minister said:
“This report is the most comprehensive record of Welsh Government progress ever produced and sets out clearly what actions we are taking to deliver on our promises.
“My government is committed to being open and transparent. By publishing for the first time the progress we have made across all areas we can be judged by our record and our ability to deliver on our commitments. This report provides the hard evidence we need to help make a difference to the people of Wales.”
Further Welsh Government actions since September include;
- Realising its ambition of creating an 870 mile path that runs right around the coast line of Wales that’s expected to attract an extra 100,000 visitors a year.
- Deploying or training 165 extra police community support officers with the target of all 500 being recruited, trained and deployed by September 2013.
- Awarding £100 million to a Welsh Life Science Fund and £50 million star scientists programme – a dedicated equity fund and high level recruitment programme investing into sciences businesses located in Wales.
- Progress in implementing a comprehensive 20-point School Improvement Action Plan to deliver the necessary rise in attainment in our education system.
- Turning many of the 22,000 empty private sector properties in Wales into homes through the £10 million Houses to Homes’ Recyclable Loans Fund.
- Being the first in Britain to bring in specific equality duties to help public authorities eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.
The First Minister added:
“Make no mistake that at one year into a five year Assembly term the economic and financial climate is extremely difficult. Against this backdrop we will continue to work tirelessly to boost jobs and our economy. To make further progress we need to be realistic about the challenges we face so we can prioritise the actions we need to take.
“Everything we do is aimed at benefitting Wales in the long term. From, strengthening our economic fundamentals, raising our education levels, to making Wales a highly attractive place to do business and invest, we are committed to delivering lasting change for the people of Wales.”