The Welsh government is launching a campaign to persuade more young people to stay in their home countries as the percentage of working-age citizens plummets to worrying levels.
Ministers fear that unless the “brain drain” is stopped – and more talented people can be tempted – decades from now, the country may struggle to pay the bills to take care of its business. ageing population.
On Monday, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething will present a vision for the country’s economic future, finding ways to retain and attract talent at the center of it.
Gethings said in a pre-launch interview: “It’s a really big challenge for us. If we don’t have more working-age people who are doing well, we will end up with a smaller and smaller tax base.
“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 history. We want to make the most of our talents and attract people to Wales. People move to Wales to retire, but it is also a great place to work.
“It’s about having a more optimistic view of the future – you don’t have to go out to continue, there is a great environment for you in Wales, not just for business or work , but a good place to live. “
In 2020, the proportion of the Welsh population aged 16 to 64 was 61% in Wales, compared to 62% of the UK population as a whole. By 2043, that figure is expected to drop to 58% for Wales and 59% for the UK. Wales is expected to be particularly affected as its elderly population is, in general, sicker and poorer than that of England.
Another concern is that the loss of young people could lead to a decline of the Welsh language. One of the government‘s goals is to have one million Welsh speakers by 2050, but Gething said if that was to be achieved it was essential to hold on to young people, especially in speaking countries like the west and the north, where good quality jobs can be difficult to find.
Ministers should work with colleagues from education, business, labor and local government to encourage people to stay. It will explore how to retain more graduates by building strong links with universities, and between universities and businesses. He also wants to offer more support to startups with specific incentives in certain areas.
But the Labor-led government also plans to work hard to argue that Wales is a more inclusive, open and green nation in which to live, where workers are treated with respect.
Gething thinks different attitudes at work after the pandemic can help. He said there had been a “change” before Covid hit but the crisis had accelerated it.
“Three or four years ago, people were wondering where do I want to live? Where do I want to raise a family? What do I want to do outside of my professional life? Gething said Wales had towns which had an interesting offer but which were not “as impersonal as the big cities of England” – as well as its beautiful countryside and coastlines.
The minister sets out his vision at a summit in Pontypridd, South Wales.