New research examining how the foundational economy can be supported in Wales is helping to inform government policy for the future.
The foundational economy (FE) provides everyday goods and services on which we all rely to ensure our health and wellbeing. Care and health services, food, housing, energy, construction, tourism and retailers on the high street are all examples of the FE.
The study, A Scoping and Feasibility Study for a New Foundational Economy Academy in Wales was conducted by Swansea University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire. Its findings were included in the latest cabinet statement by Welsh Minister for Economy Vaughan Gething.
The research focuses on support for FE in Wales, explored how to effectively enhance the FE capability of public service practitioners and how to learn lessons from the celebrated Preston Model – a guideline for creating community wealth.
Project lead Dr Gary Walpole, from Swansea University’s School of Management, said: “Historically the FE has been marked by low-tech and low-wage employment. The study suggests that implementing FE principles will enable public service organisations to support regional and national (Wales) development of this sector and retain a greater proportion of wealth in Wales.”
Mr Gething said: “This has provided us with a better understanding of current FE capability across the public sector and attitudes towards FE adoption. This is helping to shape our FE capability programme to ensure we provide the right tools and support to practitioners so that strong and vibrant FE sectors can be nurtured and accessed, improving wellbeing for the citizens of Wales.”
The results from the study have now been shared with Welsh Government and will be used to inform how to support stakeholders and the type of interventions required moving forward.