Monmouthshire County Council is pleased to announce it will lead a multi-million pound public sector skills programme, InFuSe, aimed at building innovation capacity and tackling challenges in society. Following a Cabinet meeting decision on Wednesday 2nd December 2020, the council will now begin working in collaboration with the other nine regional Cardiff Capital Region local authorities, the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Office, Wales’ Public Service Innovation Lab – Y Lab, Cardiff University and Nesta to deliver InFuSe (the Innovative Future Services Public Sector Skills programme)
The £5.6m programme for Local Authority Officers in the Cardiff Capital Region, is designed to help build innovation skills and competencies, whilst attempting to solve real-life societal challenges, embedding a culture of regional working throughout. InFuSe will enable new ideas to be implemented by working through an innovation process of creation, testing, implementation and scaling. This three-year programme will be based on a ‘challenge-led’ approach, and will identify two thematic areas of high importance to the Cardiff Capital Region, for example looking at problems and opportunities linked to Decarbonisation or Community Cohesion/Well-Being.
InFuSe is being backed via the Welsh European Funding Office’s Priority 5 Institutional Capacity European Social Fund, with £3.6m from European Social Funds and £2m in kind/officer time being matched by the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and Local Authorities. InFuSe is designed on theory and practice, to introduce officers to new processes and concepts. The programme will also focus on how new skills, tools and different ways of thinking can help solve shared regional challenges by taking a collaborative approach. It’s hoped Officers will develop new tools and methods that can be used to improve future service delivery – creating efficiencies, saving money or improving the impact of service delivery for the people who use and deliver them. InFuSe has also been designed to complement the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Challenge Fund and Officers will be encouraged to apply their learning to bid collaboratively, for funding to address regional challenges that will also help solve local issues.
Approximately 120 Officers are expected to join the programme, creating better trained and equipped public servants that can develop their knowledge and practice and take new skills back into their own organisations.
Following the decision, Monmouthshire County Council Leader, Councillor Peter Fox said: “We are delighted Monmouthshire County Council will lead this exciting new initiative, which hopes to build on the skills of some of Wales’ most excellent public servants. It comes at a time where we need the very best people representing us and making innovative and considered decisions as we face the challenges ahead. If this year has taught us anything, it is that we are stronger when we work together and Monmouthshire County Council is thrilled to be working alongside leading organisations to deliver this initiative for the region.”