When I was growing up I never aspired to be a politician. I really wanted be an international cricketer, a singer or a lawyer. I played decent level club cricket and enjoy a karaoke spot but I did end up being a solicitor. My motivation for getting involved in politics was, as you’d expect from a Labour politician, to help make our country a fairer and more prosperous place to live, work and retire in. I’m proud of the Welsh Government’s work in supporting our most vulnerable citizens. Independent experts recently described Wales as ‘leading the way’ on tackling homelessness, whilst Tory-run England was described as lagging ‘far behind’.
I recognise that we are and must be the party of work. A healthy economy isn’t an additional extra, it’s an essential part of our mission. That is why the Welsh Labour Government puts so much effort into supporting small, medium and large businesses across Wales. That means helping business start-ups, supporting existing businesses to and grow and of course attracting new investment into Wales.
Jobs Growth Wales is a great example of a positive approach to work and creating opportunity for our young people. The 15 000 opportunities have been created because the Welsh Labour Government made a choice to invest in our future and crucially worked with businesses to do so.
Our pro-business attitude is paying dividends for Wales. The Welsh Labour Government’s Business Start Up programme has helped establish 11,000 new enterprises the length and breadth of Wales. The value of new export business secured in 2014-15 by companies the Welsh Labour Government supported is more than £50m. Supported trade missions for Welsh businesses have taken place in 16 overseas markets, including the India, China, UAE, South Africa, Vietnam, Mexico and the USA. Inward investment into Wales continues to go from strength to strength. Inward investment is higher now than it has ever been before, creating and protecting nearly 10,000 jobs. Last year more than 38,000 jobs were created, safeguarded or assisted by the Welsh Government - the best performance for 10 years.
The figures for Wales’ economic growth are positive too. Whilst there is always more work to be done, between 2012 and 2013 Wales grew by 3.4% year on year, well above the UK increase of 2.6% - Wales had the joint-highest growth rate of any area of the UK.
The Welsh economy improving at the fastest rate for decades and it is being achieved in a sustainable way. Despite UK Government cuts to our budget we have continued to invest in apprenticeships, education continues to improve and on transport we will continue to make progress with the Metro. There is no complacency about our economic future. That is why we have acted together for Wales and will continue to do so.
When I was growing up I never aspired to be a politician. I really wanted be an international cricketer, a singer or a lawyer. I played decent level club...
Vaughan has welcomed the launch of a new national scheme to provide free swimming for veterans and Armed Forces personnel in Wales.
Free Swimming for Armed Forces and veterans is the latest initiative to be launched by the Welsh Government as part of its Package of Support for the Armed Forces Community.
The scheme is being delivered by all Local Authorities in Wales to enable and encourage veterans and our armed forces personnel to enjoy swimming as a form of physical activity and in recognition of the service they have given to their country.
Vaughan said: "This is a great scheme, like many residents in Cardiff South and Penarth I believe strongly that we need to recognise the service our armed forces have given and are giving."
"This scheme is another way in which the Welsh Labour Government is recognising the contribution they make, to our country and this community. I hope members of the armed forces community and veterans in Cardiff South and Penarth will be able to make full use of this opportunity to exercise."
Vaughan has welcomed the launch of a new national scheme to provide free swimming for veterans and Armed Forces personnel in Wales. Free Swimming for Armed Forces and veterans...