Vaughan Gething pledges education and childcare boost in First Minister manifesto

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has pledged to "tackle the attainment gap between Wales’ richest and poorest youngsters." Credit: PA Images

Vaughan Gething has told ITV Wales that his key focus is on education as he sets out his vision in his bid to become Wales' next First Minister.

The current Economy Minister, one of two candidates hoping to succeed Mark Drakeford as Welsh Labour leader, said his particular focus will be on "the first 1,000 days in a child's life" as he pledged an "expanded childcare offer" for parents. 

Mr Gething told ITV Wales his vision for an "ambitious future for Wales" includes raising standards, improving outcomes, and closing the attainment gap.He added that some of his plans would "rely on winning a UK Labour victory at the general election."

Education Minister Jeremy Miles is competing with Economy Minister Vaughan Gething to be the next First Minister. Credit: PA Images

It comes as Mr Gething officially launched his manifesto in an event at Coleg Cambria in Wrexham on Saturday.

The other contender for Wales' top job is the current Education Minister, Jeremy Miles.

Mr Miles is expected to launch his own manifesto in the coming week.

On his focus on education, which has traditionally been the territory of his rival, Mr Gething said: "It's a deliberate focus on an area that must make a big difference on the future of our country."

  • ITV Wales reporter Sion Jenkins spoke to Vaughan Gething MS ahead of his manifesto launch.

Mr Gething said: "I have great ambition for the future of Wales and that must involve raising standards across the field of education, working together with our staff, with parents, with communities and as I say, the focus at the start on the first 1,000 days of a child's life and how we help people into the world of work."

Mr Gething also set out his plans for apprenticeships, vowing to "boost educational opportunity at all ages and stages of life."

He told ITV Wales: "If we get a UK Labour government, I'm very clear that I will invest in more money for apprenticeships to restore the money we have lost, with the funds and the power that will only come to us if we have a UK Labour victory."

His manifesto states he would aim to "boost the Welsh economy and youngsters’ job prospects."

Key points of the manifesto

Mr Gething's five key pledges if elected as Welsh Labour leader and First Minister are:

  • For a healthy nation: A Welsh NHS, safe in public hands and always the budget priority. Services focused on improving both physical and mental health and social care fit for our future. 

  • For green prosperity: Green job creation at the heart of protecting Wales’ future.  A just transition that tackles poverty and protects our planet, with good jobs and community wealth.

  • For a place called home: Accelerating social housing construction. Reliable, affordable public transport. Working in social partnership, with powers and funding devolved to local government.

  • For ambitious futures: Educational opportunity at every age and stage of life. Putting the weight of the First Minister’s office behind achieving excellence in our schools and colleges, working with teachers and school support staff.

  • For a stronger Wales: More powers for Wales and across Wales.  An ambitious, progressive nation taking its place on the world stage with a thriving future for Cymraeg.

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