A NORTH WALES politician praised college leaders for embracing the views of staff before key decisions are made.
Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn – MS for Delyn – paid a visit to Coleg Cambria Yale in Wrexham to meet with Chief Executive Yana Williams and discuss a Welsh Government pilot project being held at the north east Wales institution.
The college – which also sites in Northop, Deeside and Llysfasi – employs up to 1,000 full time and part time workers and has its own culture of Social Partnership, which ensures before any big choices or changes are made, someone representing the interests of the people involved will have been able to provide information about how that might affect them, and challenge outcomes.
Launched last year by Mrs Blythyn, the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill aims to improve the economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of Wales by embedding the principle of social partnership in the operation of public bodies across the country.
Ms Williams says inclusivity and transparency are pivotal so teams across the institution feel valued and are able to collectively raise standards.
She added: “Giving employees a leading voice in strategic decision-making helps managers to make higher quality, more effective decisions.
“By working together in a spirit of collaboration and cooperation we will advance further as a college, in partnership with our community and stakeholders in the private and public sectors.
“We were honoured to be able to take this forward and be part of the pilot programme and have seen many benefits, for the leadership team, staff and ultimately our learners.”
Employees are encouraged to become more involved in the decision-making process and liaise with union representatives. Information is shared via Cambria’s intranet and internal communications channels.
Cambria’s Social Partnership lead David Schwarz said: “As a trade union representative, securing the best working conditions and stability for all colleagues is a key priority.
“Social partnership moves us towards this by allowing all perspectives to be taken into consideration, and it’s very positive to see the college supporting this by giving reps and decision makers the time for this to take place.”
Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn thanked them for the visit and said: “It was great to learn more about the progressive work taking place at Coleg Cambria and to see how they have embraced and begun to embed the social partnership approach.
“It is not only important that the workforce have access to collective representation, but there are much broader benefits to workers being able to participate in and influence decisions that affect them.
“We are committed to working in social partnership in Wales and promoting the benefits of Trade Union membership. I look forward to hearing how the work at Coleg Cambria progresses.”
Ms Williams added: “This is an ongoing project and strong employee representation is key to protecting and continuing to improve working conditions for staff across all college sites for years to come.”
For more on the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill, visit: www.gov.wales/social-partnership-and-public-procurement-wales-bill
Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for more news and information from Coleg Cambria.