Ministerial invitation

Professor Wayne Powell

Professor Wayne Powell

12 January 2011

Professor Wayne Powell, Director of Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), has been invited to join the Wales Business Advisory Group set up by Secretary of State for Wales.

Professor Powell attended the first meeting of the Advisory Group, which was chaired by Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan, at Gwydyr House, London, in December.

The group has been established by the Welsh Secretary to examine the business environment in Wales and to listen to the views of Welsh business leaders. The information will be fed into the UK Business Advisory Group chaired by the Prime Minister.

Mrs Gillan and Welsh Office Minister David Jones welcomed representatives from across the business spectrum in Wales to hear at first hand their views on the business environment in Wales.

Mrs Gillan said: “The formation of this group could not come at a more urgent time, following recent figures that confirmed that Wales has fallen further behind the rest of the UK in terms of prosperity and many of the poorest areas in the UK remain in Wales.

“At this introductory meeting I wanted to focus on what Advisory Group members think are the main strengths and weaknesses of the business environment in Wales and how we build for future growth.

“The Business Advisory Group allows me to discuss how Welsh businesses are coping ‘on the ground’, and gives attendees the opportunity to share issues that they feel affect the economy in Wales and affect them directly in doing business.”

Mrs Gillan added:  “While unemployment in Wales has shown signs of improvement, youth unemployment rose dramatically throughout Wales under the previous Government, a stark reminder why it is so important that we are able to provide jobs for our young people.”

Those attending the meeting included:

David Rosser, CBI Wales
 Russell Lawson, Federation of Small Businesses (FBI) Wales
Steve Thomas, Airbus
Phil Orford, Forum of Private Business
Dylan Jones Evans, University of Wales
Graham Hillier, Toyota
Colin Orr Burns, Dragon LNG
Professor Stuart Cole, Wales Transport Research Centre
Professor Wayne Powell, Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University
Paul Gorin, Smart Solutions Recruitment
Members agreed the Business Advisory Group should meet quarterly, with the next meeting in March.