Glynne Jones CBE, Director of the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, speaking at the event.

Glynne Jones CBE, Director of the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, speaking at the event.

Swansea Employability Academy (SEA) has teamed up with Glynne Jones CBE, the Director of the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, to launch its new GO Wales programme and introduce students to the Civil Service Directory for Wales.

On Tuesday 7 November at Taliesin Create, Glynne shared his impressive career journey with attendees, from a background of free school meals and low aspirations to receiving a CBE from the Princess Royal in Windsor Castle.

Glynne also highlighted the importance of programmes like GO Wales, empowering students to explore their full potential regardless of their background.

Glynne said: "All I seemed to hear when I was growing up was what I was not capable of and what I was never going to achieve. It is wrong to make such judgements about people and to place limits on their ambitions and expectations. I am therefore delighted to have had the opportunity to join SEA to launch a programme designed to both encourage students and support them to overcome hurdles and obstacles that might be placed in their path."

The GO Wales programme, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), aims to provide employability support and opportunities to students from underrepresented groups who may feel unable to access opportunities, allowing employers to work with hard-working and enthusiastic individuals.

Since being introduced in February 2023, the programme has organised numerous placements with organisations, including Caredig, The Cusp, Public Health Wales, Aberglasney Gardens, Rewise Learning, the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea Museum and Afallen.

It has also provided more than £25,000 in student bursaries to help cover travel costs to interviews, buy professional clothing and pay for professional development opportunities.

Lucy Griffiths, Head of SEA, said: "We feel very fortunate to have been joined by Glynne Jones for the formal launch of Swansea University's new GO Wales programme, known to students as Career Boost.

"It was great to see so many of our Career Boost students present and have an opportunity to hone their networking skills with fellow students, staff, alumni, and University partners."

Professor Deborah Youngs, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), who hosted the event, added: “In the short time it’s been running, GO Wales has already helped a number of our students to take control of their future career plans, and it was fantastic to see so many present at the official launch event.

“Not only was this a great opportunity to highlight how students and employers can get the most out of the new programme, but we also had the honour of being joined by Glynne Jones, who offered a unique insight into the Civil Service.”

During the event, Glynne took students through the A-Z Directory of Civil Service Departments in Wales, offering guidance on careers in the sector and explaining recruitment processes.

Glynne said: “The A-Z Directory is a first of its kind and offers a real insight into just how many departments are operating in Wales and the breadth of roles available. As a civil servant, you can have a real impact on people’s lives, from helping individuals find work to designing policies to tackle major issues such as climate change and poverty.”

Glynne has been the Director of the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales since January 2013. First joining the department in 2005, he has occupied a variety of senior posts, including Principal Private Secretary, Deputy Director Strategy and Constitution and Deputy Director Policy. He has helped deliver some of the key milestones in Welsh devolution, including three Wales Acts and the establishment of the Silk Commission.

Find out how you can get involved with the GO Wales project.

Learn what additional support is available for students and employers through SEA.

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