New Chair for the Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership Board

8 December 2022

Image of Emma Thomas

This autumn at the annual Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership Board meeting, Emma Thomas was announced as the new Chair of the Board.

The Chair of the Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership plays a key role in helping the region to drive its vision for learning and skills, represent the voice of the private sector, to influence and support decision-making and to champion the Mid Wales region at a national level.

Emma Thomas is currently the HR Manager at ABER Instruments, a Life Science Manufacturer, and has been with the company for the last seven and a half years. With a Marketing & Law degree from Aberystwyth University, an undergraduate Diploma, and a Postgraduate Diploma from University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Human Resource Management, Emma is also currently in the process of completing her Masters. During Emma’s time at ABER Instruments she has worked with Careers Wales, more recently as a Values Partner with Penglais School. She has also facilitated EESW (Engineering Education Scheme Wales) for several years on engineering projects with small groups of local sixth form pupils.  

Emma Thomas said: “I’m passionate about providing good quality jobs within the local area. As part of ABER Instruments Guiding Purpose, we aim to provide long term stable employment in Aberystwyth, offering all employees the opportunity to grow and flourish. As a growing organisation, our employee headcount has increased by 80% since 2015. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity of working with local schools, providing tours of the facility and careers talks. This has provided us with a great opportunity to engage with the next generation and raise young people’s awareness of our organisation, what we do and what we can offer.

“I am excited by the role of Chair for the RSP and hope that as a group we can help to make a difference by ensuring the correct skills provision is available to meet the needs and requirements of Mid Wales. Retaining our young people with the correct skills is essential to our economy.”

The appointment was made by Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Councillor James Gibson-Watt, Leader of Powys County Council. They said: “We would like to extend a warm welcome to Emma as the new RSP Board Chair. This coming year will see some important areas of work for the Board such as the new 3-year Employment and Skills Plan 2022-2025 and its subsequent implementation.

“We would also like to thank Adrian Watkins for his dedication and hard work in helping to establish the RSP Board, firstly as interim Chair and then as substantive Chair until the annual meeting where he handed the role to Emma. Adrian has been instrumental in bringing the Board members together working in partnership, to collaborate on key areas for delivery, such as the Young Persons Guarantee report.”

Adrian Watkins said: “I’ve enjoyed my time as the RSP Board Chair and representing views of Mid Wales businesses and partners at Welsh Government meetings with senior civil servants. Although I’m stepping down as Chair, I will still be a Board member and look forward to working with Emma and continuing to support the work of the RSP.”

Keep up to date with the Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership and other Growing Mid Wales developments by visiting , or following @GrowingMidWales on Twitter and Tyfu Canolbarth Cymru | Growing Mid Wales on LinkedIn.

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