Keeping young people is a challenge facing many rural communities – with the latest 2021 Census figures confirming this.
In contrast to the trend across the country, each county in north west Wales has seen a decline in population over the last ten years. Proof, according to a social enterprise that operates in Anglesey and Gwynedd, that action is needed more than ever to support and encourage young people to consider staying in their communities as they embark on their careers.
This is the aim of the Llwyddo’n Lleol 2050 initiative. Run by Menter Môn over recent years – the scheme has worked with almost 70 young people. It’s a unique project which provides support and opportunites to younger adults as they look for work, promoting a balance between career and the benefits of living in a beautiful area.
Dafydd Gruffydd, Menter Môn’s Managing Director explains: “We are very proud of the Llwyddo’n Lleol 2050 scheme. It reflects so many of our values as an organisation – from providing opportunities for young people and promoting entrepreneurship to protecting the Welsh language.
“With the 2021 Census showing the negative effects of outward migration on our communities, the scheme’s message – that this area is ideal to get the right work life balance, is an important one. We hope to continue to encourage more to consider staying locally and to put down roots here.”
One of Llwyddo’n Lleol’s latest programmes was to provide training on creating digital content to promote north west Wales as a great location to live. Tesni Hughes was one of those who took part, she said: “I am grateful that I was able to join this programme. It was an opportunity to develop working skills, whilst meeting people of a similar age and with similar interests to me.
“I was all set to move away, but having seen the work possibilities here as well as being able to live in an area where the Welsh language is an important part of day to day life has made me change my mind. The scheme has certainly shown me what’s possible and that there are opportunities here for me.”
Menter Môn hopes to continue promoting and supporting opportunities for young people through Llwyddo’n Lleol. As an organisation which employs many who are starting their careers, they are also keen to share the message with other organisations and businesses in order to keep talent local for the benefit of communities, the economy and the Welsh language.
The project has received support through Welsh Government’s Arfor 1 fund up to March 2021 and the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.