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Start your career in security at the National Assembly for Wales

We take security seriously at the National Assembly for Wales. Last year we welcomed over 60,000 visitors to our buildings, hosted HRH the Queen at the Official Opening of the Assembly and cheered for our Olympians and Paralympians at the Homecoming event.

Security Officers at the National Assembly for Wales

Our Security team ensure the safety and security of everyone who works at or visits the Assembly and are the first point of contact for all visitors to the estate.

We are currently looking to create a reserve list for joining our security team at the National Assembly for Wales. So, if you want to be informed as soon as new vacancies are available, please get in touch.

Interested?

Security Officers Shane and Dean talk about why the National Assembly for Wales could be the place for you.

How is working here different to other security jobs?

“I don’t think I’ve used Welsh in any of my other jobs. I like speaking to the public, and talking to Front of House colleagues really helps to get my Welsh up to standard.”
Shane

“It’s very family orientated and a really supportive environment.”
Dean

HRH The Queen at the official opening of the Assembly

By joining the National Assembly for Wales you’ll get to work in two of the most iconic buildings in Wales – the Senedd and Pierhead – and see Welsh politics in action in the Siambr.

 What do you like about working for the Assembly?

“You meet some interesting people, there’s always something on.”
Shane

Our security staff are trained to be aware of the needs of visitors with disabilities, or who might have specific requirements based on their religious beliefs.

Welsh Olympians and Paralympians

So what does a typical day involve?

As well as monitoring the buildings, Security staff greet all visitors and ensure safety on the estate. They also work with Assembly Members, other departments and external organisations to plan events at the Assembly.

As the first point of contact for visitors, the Security team have picked up quite a bit of feedback on our Trip Advisor and Senedd Facebook pages. Some recent comments include:

“…friendly and extremely helpful security…”

“…very efficient but good humoured security guards…”

“The security staff are very nice and friendly, when they say ‘Welcome to the Welsh Assembly building…’ with a friendly smile it really does make a nice impact”.

 What’s been a personal highlight for you while working here?

“The Royal Opening – being involved with something that prestigious”.
Dean

“Meeting Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, he’s one of my heroes”.
Shane

What would you say to someone thinking about applying for the role?

“The well-being side is really good, you can develop yourself as an individual”.
Dean

The Assembly is an exciting place to work with progressive policies and a commitment to training and development. Further information on the benefits of working for us can be found on our recruitment pages.

Currently recruiting for new Security Officers

We are currently recruiting for new Security Officers. To find out more and to make an application, click here to be taken to our recruitment pages. The closing date is 13 October 2017.

A male voice choir performs at the Senedd

Wales in your words

To celebrate St. David’s Day we asked hundreds of people to describe what Wales means to them in just one word

We invited visitors to the Senedd to write their word on a postcard and leave it with us. We also filmed some particularly patriotic volunteers…

It’s been fantastic to see so many different words showing a range of emotions, connections and viewpoints. It comes as a reminder of the many different voices the National Assembly for Wales represents.

Gwlad mewn geiriau / Wales in your words

It has also confirmed a few things we may have already known…

Wales doesn’t have the best weather…

A lot of words alluded to the famous Welsh climate with cold, grey, rainy and wet all making an appearance. One postcard gave the word warm followed by the clarification ‘not weather though’ in brackets. Just in case we got the wrong idea.

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… but it’s beautiful, and you’re proud of it.

Two of the most popular words were variations of beautiful and pride. The unique landscape of Wales was also covered by the words spectacular, scenic, mountains and green.

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Wales is a land of history, culture and song…

Many words reflected Wales’s rich heritage, with a number of you choosing culture, history, language, legends, rugby and music.

 While the word football didn’t get a mention, we did get a Bale!

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Wales is your home…

Home, cartref and adref in Welsh, was overwhelmingly the most common word submitted across all languages. People gave us lots of related words which sum up a sense of home and belonging including: community, hiraeth, together, welcome, etifeddiaeth, united, love, solidarity and roots.

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Continue reading “Wales in your words”

The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister swaps Cardiff Bay for Carmarthen

The Assembly Committee responsible for scrutiny of the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, will examine the approach to reducing poverty in Wales and other issues in the West Wales region.

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The First Minister Carwyn Jones will be appearing before the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister on Friday, 17 February at 11.00 in the Halliwell Centre, Carmarthen.

What does the committee do?

The Assembly has several committees made up of Assembly Members from different political parties to look at different subjects in detail, i.e. health, education and culture. One of their functions is to investigate whether the Welsh Government is doing a good job.

They do this by asking for views from the public and by getting input from experts, charities and other organisations. They also regularly question Welsh Government  Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First of the Minister meets once a term and (as the name suggests) looks specifically at what the First Minister is doing. The chair of the Committee is the Deputy Presiding Officer Ann Jones AM. All of the Assembly Members in this committee are also currently chairs of other committees.

Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister – Membership

Ann Jones AM (Chair) Welsh Labour  Jayne Bryant AM Welsh Labour
Huw Irranca-Davies AM Welsh Labour Russell George AM Welsh Conservatives
John Griffiths AM Welsh Labour Mike Hedges AM Welsh Labour
Bethan Jenkins AM Plaid Cymru Dai Lloyd AM Plaid Cymru
Lynne Neagle AM Welsh Labour Nick Ramsay AM Welsh Conservatives
Mark Reckless AM UKIP Wales David Rees AM Welsh Labour
 Simon Thomas AM Plaid Cymru

What does the First Minister do?

The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government and is appointed by HM The Queen following nomination by Assembly Members in the Senedd.

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The First Minister’s responsibilities include:

  • appointing the Cabinet who comprise the Welsh Government;
  • chairing Cabinet meetings;
  • leading policy development and delivery;
  • managing relationships with the rest of the UK and internationally;
  • representing the people of Wales on official business, and
  • staffing of the Welsh Government.

What will the Committee be discussing this time?

For this meeting the Committee will be focusing on the Welsh Government’s vision and approach to reducing poverty in Wales.  Read more about the issue.

The Committee would also like to discuss other major issues in the West Wales region. If you have an issue you’d like to raise, you can suggest a topic in advance.

How can I watch?

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You are welcome to come and watch the Committee proceedings in person. Let us know via our booking line. If you are local to Carmarthen or live in the West Wales area you can also suggest topics for discussion in advance.

If you can’t make it in person, the meeting will be available to watch very soon afterwards on Senedd.TV.

Continue reading “The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister swaps Cardiff Bay for Carmarthen”

What can Wales do to address loneliness and isolation?

Figures from Age Cymru show that 75,000 older people in Wales feel lonely or isolated. Almost half of those surveyed said the television or a pet was their main companion.

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The National Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee has begun an inquiry looking how this issue affects older people in Wales. It will look at what support is available for older people and what more can be done to tackle the issue. The Committee will also look at the extent to which initiatives to combat loneliness and isolation experienced by other groups may also help older people.

There is evidence to suggest that loneliness and isolation can have a significant impact on physical and mental health and may be a cause of depression, sleep issues, stress, and even heart problems.

It’s therefore possible that preventing loneliness and isolation could  reduce the demand and pressure on health and social care services.

Loneliness and isolation are not the same thing – each can be experienced without the other. A person may feel lonely in a crowded room, isolated in a rural community or even vice versa.

The problem of loneliness and isolation has already been recognised by the Minister for Social Services and Public Health as an important public health issue, while the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has made tackling the problem a priority.

The Welsh Government already has a set of indicators to check its progress towards the achieving its ‘well-being goals’ one of which is to monitor the ‘percentage of people who are lonely’.

The Committee will be looking at this complex subject and the  wide range of services which can have an impact on it such as health, social care and community services, transport and even internet access.

Chair of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, Dai Lloyd AM:

“Isolation and loneliness can affect anyone,  employed or retired, living in a town, city or the countryside.

We already know the issues affect a high number of older people. Tackling the problem could  both help individuals feel better and could also  mean less demand on our health and social care services.

If you or someone you know is, or has been, affected by issues of loneliness or isolation, or you are involved in work to support them, then we would like to hear about your experiences and what ideas you think could help.”

If you would like to contribute to the inquiry you can find more information, including how, on the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee pages on the National Assembly’s website.

The Committee will be holding a Facebook Live session on 25/01 at 17.00 to talk more about the inquiry and invite people to take part.

You can also keep up to date with what the Committee are doing via their Twitter account – @SeneddHealth.

Culture, Welsh Language and Communications – Public decides on future committee inquiry

Over the last couple of months, the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee at the National Assembly for Wales has asked the people of Wales to decide what issues they should be investigating.

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Although Assembly committees regularly involve the public in its work, and have done so using a variety of techniques (including events, focus groups, web-chats, surveys, video interviews, workshops, and crowdsourcing apps), this is the first time an Assembly committee has asked the people of Wales to decide a future committee inquiry.

How they sourced ideas

The chair of the Committee, Bethan Jenkins AM sat down with James Williams from BBC Wales to talk about the newly formed committee on Facebook live, the first time the National Assembly had ever done so. Bethan encouraged people to get in touch, and make suggestions for priority areas.

The Committee invited people to suggest ideas on Facebook, Twitter and by e-mail, and also held an event at the National Eisteddfod to continue the conversation.

What people said

A number of suggestions were received from a mix of organisations, groups and individuals, which were then grouped and presented to the Committee.  The members then cross referenced this public list with the priority areas they had identified in a planning session they had held.

There was a lot of common ground between the Committee members’ priority areas and the public list, including:

  • how the ambition of achieving a million Welsh speakers can be achieved
  • concern at the continuing decline of local media and local news journalism
  • lack of portrayal of Wales on UK broadcast networks
  • the role of Radio in Wales
  • the remit, funding and accountability of S4C

Continue reading “Culture, Welsh Language and Communications – Public decides on future committee inquiry”

#KeepingOrder: Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales and the Speaker of the House of Commons answer your questions

How do you chair a meeting of AMs or MPs? What have you always wanted to know about life in the debating chamber?

Two people who  know are Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, and The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons.

On 2 December, we’ll be giving you the opportunity to gain a unique insight into their roles as they come together for an evening discussion with Adrian Masters of ITV Wales, at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

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Audience members will be able to listen to what promises to be a fascinating discussion, and put their own questions to the two figureheads.

To secure your free place, call the Booking Line on 0300 200 6565 or email contact@assembly.wales

Send your questions to us via Twitter using the hashtag #KeepingOrder.  The event will be broadcast live on our Facebook Page so you can also join the live discussion as it happens. The stream will begin at 17.00.

So, what do you think we could learn from Mr Speaker, and what could he learn from us? What have you always wanted to ask the Llywydd?

The role of Llywydd (or Presiding Officer) is the single most important office in the National Assembly for Wales and is set out in the Assembly’s Standing Orders. The Llywydd chairs Plenary meetings, keeping order in the Siambr, remaining politically impartial at all times. Plenary is a meeting of all 60 Assembly Members that takes place in the Siambr, the Senedd’s debating chamber.

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Y Siambr, the Senedd’s debating chamber

The Llywydd also plays an active role in representing the Assembly and Wales’s interests on the national and international stage and chairs the Assembly Commission. The Assembly Commission is the body which makes sure that Assembly Members have the staff and resources they need to carry out their roles effectively for the people of Wales.

Continue reading “#KeepingOrder: Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales and the Speaker of the House of Commons answer your questions”

Financing the Future – Changes to the way money is raised and spent in Wales

Simon Thomas AC/AMHow can we ensure the Welsh public sector is equipped with the right financial skills? Simon Thomas AM, Chair of the Assembly’s Finance Committee, recently spoke at the Wales Audit Office ‘Finance for the Future’ event.

In the ever changing landscape of finance in Wales, it has never been more important to have home grown, talented professionals working collaboratively to effectively scrutinise spending in Wales.

On 1 November I was invited to speak at Finance for the Future 2016, by the Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas. This conference saw the launch of an innovative new scheme to increase skills of the public sector in the field of finance with the aim of providing sustainable public services for the future.

More photos from Finance for the Future 2016 are available on Facebook

I spoke at the conference in my role as Chair of the Finance Committee at the National Assembly for Wales. The Finance Committee is a cross party Committee which is primarily responsible for reporting on spending by the Welsh Government Ministers. We are also responsible for the oversight of the Wales Audit Office and the Auditor General, it was the previous Finance Committee that approved the funding for widening the Financial Trainee Scheme launched at the conference on 1 November 2016.

My speech in full is available to read here:

When talking to the trainees I was keen to stress the changes to fiscal devolution as we enter an important period in Welsh devolution, with the introduction of the first taxes to Wales in 800 years, the role of the Finance Committee in ensuring effective scrutiny and instilling public confidence is even more important. I explained how, as a Committee, we are currently scrutinising the ‘Land Transaction Tax and Anti Avoidance of Devolved Taxes Bill’ which will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax and we are expecting the ‘Landfill Disposal Tax Bill’ shortly.

These two taxes combined with the devolution of a portion of income tax will enable the Welsh Government to raise approximately £3 billion, making a more direct relationship between money raised and spent in Wales.  This change in fiscal power is driving my desire to see us nurture home grown talent to an even greater extent.

During my speech I talked about new obligations surrounding the ‘Well-being of Future Generations Act’. The last Assembly saw the introduction of the Act which aims to make public bodies listed in the Act, such as Health Boards and Local Authorities, think more about:

  • planning for the long-term,
  • working better with people and communities,
  • looking to prevent problems

As the Auditor General has such a key role in the implementation of this Act, I felt it was important to explain the process to the trainees. The Auditor General is required to report on how public bodies have applied the sustainable development principle in the way they set their objectives and the steps they take to meet those objectives. He is required to deliver this report to the National Assembly for Wales at least once in every five year electoral cycle.

With the progression of devolution in Wales, the introduction of the ‘Well-Being of Future Generations Act’ and the ‘Environment Act (Wales) 2016’ the importance of effective scrutiny by talented, home grown professionals can not be underestimated. That is why I am grateful to the Auditor General for not only for inviting me to speak at the conference of financial trainees, but for ensuring the development and progression of this scheme.

You can find out more about the the Assembly’s Finance Committee by visiting assembly.wales/seneddfinance. You can also follow the committee on Twitter – @SeneddFinance.

The Wales Audit Office supports the Welsh Auditor General as the public sector watchdog for Wales. Their aim is to ensure that the people of Wales know whether public money is being managed wisely and that public bodies in Wales understand how to improve outcomes. Find out more about their work at www.wao.gov.uk

Brexit in Wales – Article 50 and the High Court: What does it mean?

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On 3 November 2016, the High Court of England and Wales decided that the UK Government and the Prime Minister does not have the power to use the prerogative to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the UK’s exit from the European Union without the consent of Parliament.

What are the prerogative powers?

The UK’s institutions are defined and function on the principle of the “separation of powers”: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.

  • The executive is made up of the Crown and the Government (which includes the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers). Their job is to propose laws and make policies;
  • The legislature is made up of Parliament and all Members who are not a part of the UK Government. Their job is to make sure that the UK Government’s decisions are in the best interest of the UK and its people; and
  • The judiciary is made up of all the judges in the courts of law, including tribunals and magistrates courts. Senior judges are appointed by the Crown (or the Queen).

This principle of the “separation of powers” means that our Government, Parliament and Judges should be functionally independent.

The principle suggests that it’s important for all the powers to be separate to protect against one of these institutions having more control than the others – it’s about keeping them all in check and balanced.

Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the UK Government decided that it would trigger the process by using its own prerogative power, which means they wouldn’t need to consult Parliament in the decision-making process. Some argued that the referendum result was enough.

Why was the High Court involved?

Some people felt that by not consulting Parliament and allowing Members of Parliament a opportunity to vote, the UK Government was acting outside of its powers and not allowing Parliament to scrutinise its approach to leaving the EU.

The High Court was asked whether, as a matter of UK constitutional law, the Government is permitted to trigger Article 50 in this way without reference to Parliament.

The High Court ruled that it would be unlawful for the UK Government to trigger article 50 without an Act of Parliament. You can read the full judgment here.

The UK Government have said that they will appeal the High Court decision to the Supreme Court next month.

What are the views of the Welsh Government?

Following the High Court decision, the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones AM restated the Welsh Government’s position:

“The position of the Welsh Government has been consistent throughout – we accept the decision made by the people and will not work against the referendum result,”

“We are working hard to get the best possible exit terms for Wales. However, it is important that votes take place in all four nations to endorse the UK negotiating position.”

The National Assembly for Wales

The National Assembly for Wales’s External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee have been looking at the implications for Wales once the UK leaves the EU. From trade models and international law, the implications for agriculture to research and investment, the Committee have been seeking the views of experts to help them understand the issues Wales could face.

The Committee now want to hear your views on what should be the top priority for Wales before the formal process of exiting the EU. You can submit your views here or keep up to date by following them on Twitter @SeneddEAAL.

Brexit in Wales – Agriculture and Fisheries

Last week, the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee focused their attention on Agriculture and Fisheries and the implications for Wales following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

You can watch the full session on Senedd.TV.

As part of the session, Members and invited experts discussed their views on the priority areas for agriculture and fisheries in the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and the challenges post-withdrawal.

You can follow the discussions on Twitter and Facebook using #BrexitinWales.  To keep up to date on the work of the Committee follow @SeneddEAAL.

Key Issues for Agriculture in Wales

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Policies affecting Welsh farming and its food supply chain are determined largely by the EU through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), food safety and animal welfare legislation and also indirectly by the World Trade Organisation rules.

The CAP is the EU’s mechanism for providing direct support to farmers, for protecting the countryside and for supporting the development of rural areas. The CAP runs for a seven-year period. Under the 2014 – 2020 round Wales receives around €322 million of funding each year in direct payments to farmers in addition to €355m million for its 2014 – 2020 rural development programme.

The Welsh Government is directly responsible for implementing the CAP in Wales (and is required to comply with the various EU Regulations which set the legal framework for the policy). For farmers eligible for the CAP this means the Welsh Government manages the direct payments they receive.

How would the UK withdraw from the CAP? Would it be phased in over time or stop immediately after the UK leaves?

The Welsh agricultural sector is heavily dependent on the current subsidies it receives under the CAP to make a profit. This is particularly the case in upland livestock farms. The Chancellor’s announcement that the UK Government will honour current levels of direct payments to farmers until 2020 has been welcomed by the farming unions.

However, some have called for clarity on how any fund distributed after withdrawal will be allocated to the Welsh Government and subsequently by the Welsh Government to Welsh farmers. Clarity on the levels and types of any funding available after 2020 has also been sought.

Continue reading “Brexit in Wales – Agriculture and Fisheries”

More consistency and transparency needed – Welsh Businesses give their views on Business Rates in Wales

The Assembly’s Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee spends a lot of time talking to people in the world of Welsh business. Business rates is one of the issues that arises frequently and provokes strong reactions.

It was also an issue that cropped up heavily in our summer consultation when we asked people what work the Committee should be prioritising. For that reason, the Committee decided to hold an early one-day session looking at business rates in Wales. The event was held on 5 October, just days after details of a revaluation of business rates in Wales was published.

A Business breakfast to hear views from across Wales

The Committee invited a cross section of business representatives to a breakfast event at the World of Boats in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday to hear their views on the subject.

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To ensure we got the full picture from businesses Wales-wide, we filmed interviews with businesses across the country, so that we could show attendees a short video, summarising some of the key issues to help stimulate discussion.

Businesses spoke about the difficulties they experienced and suggested ways to improve the system for SMEs. Here’s some of the issues raised in the video:

It would have helped if we’d had that little bit of relief especially in the six months when we weren’t trading, so there was no money coming in only money going out and yet we had to still pay business rates…

Katia Fatiadou, Quantum Coffee Roasters Ltd, Cardiff Bay

When we pay business rates we don’t get anything back in return, absolutely nothing…so business rates are a cost to the businesses and there’s no return whatsoever.

Robert Griffiths, Ruggers Carpets, Merthyr Tydfil

A successful business rates policy would be based on a calculation of the company’s financial and profitability rather than the rateable value of the premises that they’re currently working out of or the premises that they potentially want to move in to.

Joshua Weaver, We are Promotional Products, Welshpool

At the event the biggest discussion points were how rates are calculated, what the money is spent on, whether and how rates could be reduced to promote economic development, as well as specific issues relating to the cost of investment in equipment (e.g. by major industries like steelworks), high street vs. out of town retail, and how holiday rental cottages should be assessed.

What happened after breakfast?

Later that morning, the committee held a formal meeting in the Senedd, taking evidence firstly from a panel of experts, and then from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford, who is responsible for business rates in Wales. The session, which can be seen on Senedd.tv highlighted the need for greater consistency and transparency when it comes to business rates, a better appeals system, and clarity on any changes that may happen in the future.

Members made a number of references to what they had heard, from businesses at the breakfast event and from the video interviews, during the Ministerial scrutiny session.

Next steps

At the breakfast session, some participants indicated they might have further information they wished to share with the committee. They have been invited to share that in writing.

Once the Committee has considered any additional information, it will discuss its conclusions before writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, with recommendations for improving the current regime.

Keep in touch

Members of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee

The Committee was established to hold the Welsh Government to account on issues such as economic development; transport; infrastructure; employment; skills; and research and development, including technology and science.

Keep up with the work of the Committee by following us on Twitter @SeneddEIS.