Blaenau Gwent Assembly Member Alun Davies has spent a morning with a group of local women who are taking part in an EU funded programme designed to boost their confidence, increase their skills and help them move up the career ladder.

The Labour AM spent the morning with Chwarae Teg’s Agile Nation 2 programme participants at the Ebbw Vale Institute to learn about how the programme works, what it covers and how the women taking part benefit.

Women taking part in Chwarae Teg’s Agile Nation 2 career development programme, which is fully funded by the European Social Fund through Welsh Government, have reported pay increases totalling more than a million pounds across Wales to date.

Chwarae Teg, a charity which works to boost the position of women in the Welsh economy, said that, after completing the programme, participants also reported promotions, gaining new responsibilities and moving into new roles requiring higher skills and competencies, all of which mean an improvement in their position in the labour market.

Alun Davies said: "It was great to see the programme in action and to see first-hand the difference it makes to the confidence and skills of the women taking part.

“We know that more women in good quality, higher paid roles benefits everybody in the wider economy. We also know that having a more diverse workforce benefits businesses by bringing different ideas and perspectives, attracting a wider range of customers, and leading to a happier, more valued workforce. That is why programmes like this are so important.

“I would encourage women across Blaenau Gwent to take this opportunity to increase their confidence and develop their skills by applying to go on the programme.”

Chwarae Teg learning development partner, Angharad Brown, said: “It was great to have Alun Davies visit us to learn more about how Chwarae Teg works with women locally and about how our Agile Nation 2 programme is making a difference.

“The project is designed to enable women to achieve and prosper in the Welsh economy, and several of the women in this group have already seen real benefits from their improved confidence and have been promoted at work before they have even completed the programme.

"Women who have previously completed the programme have reported salary increases due to a promotion, taking on additional responsibilities, or having moved into a new role which requires higher skills and competencies.

"All of this means that they will have an improved position in the labour market now and into the future. Women taking part in the programme have also reported other benefits such as moving from precarious to stable employment, from being under-employed to now being able to use their full skill set, and some have reported now being able to work more flexibly.

“We still have places on the programme in the Blaenau Gwent area and I would encourage women in the area to make the most of this opportunity to boost their confidence and skills.”

To apply for a place on the programme go to