Adult Learning Wales CEO, Kathryn Robson, appointed by the First Minister as an Employer Representative on the newly formed Social Partnership Council. | Adult Learning Wales

Adult Learning Wales CEO, Kathryn Robson, appointed by the First Minister as an Employer Representative on the newly formed Social Partnership Council.


Adult Learning Wales is pleased to announce that the organisations Chief Executive, Kathryn Robson, has been appointed as a member on the newly formed Social Partnership Council as an Employer Representative.

The Social Partnership Council, chaired by First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is part of the fulfilment of a Programme for Government commitment to place social partnership on a statutory footing in Wales, following The Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Act 2023 which became law earlier this year. The membership of the council is made up of representatives of employers and workers from the public, private and third sectors in Wales.

The objective of The Social Partnership Council is to improve economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being in Wales. To do this, the council may provide information and advice to Welsh Ministers about:

  • The social partnership duties the Act imposes on public bodies and the Welsh Ministers.
  • The pursuit of the A Prosperous Wales wellbeing goal by public bodies when carrying out sustainable development under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
  • The socially responsible public procurement functions conferred on contracting authorities and the Welsh Ministers under Part 3 of the Act.

Kathryn Robson said:

“Following my nomination by Colleges Wales, I am delighted to have been invited by the First Minister to serve as an employer representative on the Social Partnership Council. Establishing the Social Partnership Council through statute is a significant development promoting a culture of collaboration and joint working, providing important advice to Ministers on social partnership working, and advancing the well-being goal “A Prosperous Wales” as set out in the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. The opportunity to develop policy to promote socially responsible public procurement in Wales will also be a priority and I look forward to working with Welsh Government and representatives from a diverse range of worker and employer networks to deliver on these objectives.”

Members of the council are appointed for a three-year term which began on 1 December 2023. The Social Partnership Council will meet a minimum of three times each year, with the first meeting taking place in early 2024.

The Social Partnership Council will work in an open and transparent way. Information and advice provided to Welsh Ministers, meeting papers and minutes, will be published in all but exceptional circumstances. The Social Partnership Council will have a dedicated website where this information will be accessible. Current information can be found here

About Kathryn Robson

Kathryn Robson is Chief Executive of Adult Learning Wales, the National Organisation for adult community learning in Wales. A firm supporter of lifelong learning opportunities for all, Kathryn is committed to driving forward the adult education and inclusivity agenda, giving greater accessibility to learning for communities across Wales.

Born and bred in North Pembrokeshire, Kathryn learnt Welsh as an adult and is focused on establishing bilingual services and increasing opportunities to access Welsh medium provision across Wales. Kathryn has worked in the post-16 education sector for 22 years and has developed many partnerships to help advance further education and adult community learning. Committed to championing opportunities for disadvantaged communities, Kathryn promotes community learning and advocacy through democratic engagement and a wide range of formal and informal learning; helping to advance active citizenship, skills, and economic development.

With a background in Human Resource Management spanning 28 years, Kathryn is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, and holds a Level 7 qualification in HR Management from Swansea Institute of Higher Education. She is committed to social partnership and has extensive experience in employee engagement and organisational development, across the public and private sectors.  She was a member of the Wales Negotiating Committee Further Education (WNCFE) for six years which saw the introduction of the national common contract for FE staff in Wales. She is a member of Colleges Wales Principals’ Forum as well as their Audit Committee and is also a member of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), Chair of the Third Sector Partnership Council’s Education Committee and Chair of External Reference Group undertaking a review of adult learning in Wales. Kathryn is actively involved in advancing race equality initiatives and is a Board Member and Trustee of Race Council Cymru.

Kathryn is an advocate for lifelong learning for all ages, she is Vice Chair of Governors at Cardigan Secondary School and a volunteer consultant at Nant-y-Cwm Steiner School, Pembrokeshire. Her appointment on Welsh Government’s Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) Strategy Board took place in 2021, and she serves as a member of the Education Workforce Council following her Public Appointment by the Minister for Education and Welsh Language in February 2023 and was appointed to the Social Partnership Council by the First Minister in December 2023.

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