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Minister 'looking at ways to improve affordable childcare'

Today's report will help us to take stock of the position of women in the Welsh workforce and highlight work that still needs to be done.

It is vital that we challenge stereotypes in subject choice at school and in the workplace and that this should begin at the earliest opportunity.

The costs and quality of childcare are a major concern for many parents who are in the workplace or who wish to work. The Welsh Government is committed to taking action to improve things for ordinary people and I am looking at ways to improve access to affordable childcare.

– Huw Lewis AM, Communities Minister

Lack of childcare 'affects woman's ability to work'

  • Just under 80% of women said being a builder was more suitable for a man and around half said that being a plumber or an electrician was more suitable for a man.
  • 78% of employers said lack of childcare affected a woman's ability to work fulltime, while they thought it only affected 48% of men's.
  • 60% of employers think that further action by the state would help to achieve equality.

'Mix of barriers' facing women in Wales' workforce

Two thirds of women in Wales work. Credit: David Parry/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A report by an agency set up to for the economic development of women in Wales has found that while women have made considerable progress in the Welsh workforce over the past 16 years, there is a "mix of barriers" facing them that limit their contribution to the Welsh economy.

Chwarae Teg said the reason why a woman's progress may be hindered is because powerful stereotypes and assumptions about the suitability of certain jobs for different genders "shape women's place in the workforce".

The report, which interviewed 600 women and 400 employers, found that many experience a skills squeeze - they are more highly qualified and more likely to receive in work training than men yet they continue to work in lower skilled jobs and receive lower pay.

It added that affordable and accessible childcare needs to be more available for women who want to balance child care responsibilities and work because at the moment some women feel a lack of childcare hindered their business opportunities.

The agency concluded that for Wales to successfully compete on a global stage the skills and experience of working women needs to be better utilised.

Wales TUC: 'Extra working hours adding up to £735m'

The average employee in Wales works an extra 6.2 hours per week - adding up to an extra £735m-worth of value to the Welsh economy.

"That's a huge amount of hours," said Rhianydd Wiliams from Wales TUC.

"We're asking employers to recognise these extra hours and maybe looking at better ways of managing time within the office so that people feel they can leave on time or have a proper lunch break."


Wales TUC: 'Workers shouldn't be doing more for less'

Welsh employers should focus on the work their staff produce rather than the time spent at their desks, according to the Wales Trades Union Congress.They spoke out on the ninth annual Work Your Proper Hours Day, where workers are being encouraged to take their entitled breaks and leave work on time.

Welsh workers are going above and beyond the call of duty each year by working extra hours. They often aren't recognised for this work or credited for helping their businesses and organisations stay afloat.

Employers shouldn't be pressurising their staff into doing more for less. A significant part of the hours of unpaid overtime worked every year could be wiped out by smarter management practices, such as focusing on the work staff actually do rather than the time spent at their desks.

A long-hours culture is bad for workers' health and their family life - whether the hours are paid or not.

– Rhianydd Williams, Wales TUC Campaigns Officer

Welsh employees regularly do unpaid overtime

People in Wales regularly work an extra 6.2 hours and don't claim overtime for it according to Wales' Trade Union Congress. Research, published today to mark 'Work Your Proper Hours Day, found half of all teachers, legal professionals and finance managers regularly work unpaid overtime.

The union says that last year 178,000 Welsh workers regularly put in extra hours for free with the hours of unpaid overtime equating to an additional £735million to the Welsh Economy.

Do you regularly work more hours than you're paid for? Let us know your views

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Employers at first jobs summit

Politicians and business leaders have met at the Lysaght Institute in Newport to discuss how to tackle youth unemployment.

It aims to get employers making decisions on how to offer more work experience, internship and apprenticeship opportunities for young people.

It's the first such "Jobs Summit for Wales."

Business leaders from around Wales have been invited to the summit to talk about how they can improve opportunities for young people.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has spoken at the event, which is hosted by the Welsh Secretary David Jones.

Unemployment 'remains too high'

The Government is acutely aware of the problems some young people are continuing to experience when looking for their first job, and are being realistic about the scale of the challenge. The latest unemployment figures have shown a decrease in levels of youth unemployment; however, the number of young people currently out of work in Wales remains too high.

The range of support available to help support young people into work is extensive and varied, and this summit provides the perfect platform and audience to help get that message across.

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