Fair work

We’re recruiting: Director

Salary: £55,000 – £60,000 based on experience, pro rata

Duration: Permanent

Hours: 30 or 37.5 hours per week (4 or 5 days)

Location: Flexible working / Cardiff office based / home working

Start date: As soon as possible

Closing date for applications:12 noon 3 May 2024
Interview date:17 May 2024
Interview location:In-person, Cardiff

Cynnal Cymru is the leading sustainable development organisation in Wales.  With charitable aims at our core, we provide advice, training and connections to help organisations take bold decisions for a fairer and more secure future.

The past few years have seen rapid growth both in the staff team numbers and in our reach. We have been working hard to deliver our unique services, and have done remarkably well. But now is the time to reflect and consolidate our success – before we step forward to further grow our impact for a sustainable future.

Could you be the person to take us forward with this ambitious agenda as our new Director?

We are looking for someone who can help us strengthen our skills and expertise and lead us through a period of consolidation and change as we continue to deliver our ambitious agenda of enabling action towards a fair and just society, a low carbon economy and a thriving natural environment.

You may be an experienced CEO or an experienced senior manager looking for a step up. Our new Director will be skilled in both people and organisational management, with very good business and financial acumen.

We are a lively and progressive charity at an important stage in our development. If our mission resonates and you share our aims, we would love to hear from you.


How to apply

Eastside People is supporting Cynnal Cymru in the recruitment of this role.

All applications will be anonymised to ensure no subconscious biases advantage or disadvantage anyone.


Further information

How we work

We understand that our staff have commitments and priorities outside of work and are therefore happy to explore any flexible working arrangement that will enable you to deliver your best work, providing the organisation business needs can also be met.

We are actively seeking to reach a diverse pool of candidates and we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that any potential employees may need to be successful.

Our office is based in the centre of Cardiff and is easily accessible by public transport. We operate a hybrid working model with staff working between the office and home.

Diversity and Inclusion 

Cynnal Cymru is committed to providing equal employment opportunity in all its employment programmes and decisions. We recognise that a diverse and inclusive movement is critical to solving climate change and other sustainability challenges, and that we must ensure that all those directly impacted – particularly those who have been excluded in the past – are at the centre of the movement for change.

We actively seek out training and advice that can make our staff positions accessible to all potential team members, regardless of race, colour, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, assigned gender, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation or identity, religion or creed, veteran status, and marital or parental status. We strive to recruit team members from communities most impacted by climate change or impacted by other kinds of environmental, social, and economic injustice. We therefore strongly encourage applications from people from ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ people, and members of marginalised communities including those with a visible or hidden disability.

We guarantee an interview to any applicant from the above groups that meets the essential criteria for the post.

Sustainability  

We expect you to carry out your job responsibilities in a sustainable manner, ensuring as little damage to our world as possible.  Our aim is to ensure all resources are used effectively, efficiently and ethically.

Welsh Language Policy     

In carrying out our work, we try to be as bilingual as possible in our daily operations and treat the English and Welsh languages equally so far as is appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably practical.  

We’re recruiting: Director Read More »

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like? 

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like?

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like? It’s a topic that has been on my mind a lot since joining Cynnal Cymru in February as the Senior Programme and Policy Lead, leading our Fair Work and Living Wage team. Unsurprisingly for a charity called ‘Sustain Wales’, we’ve always been a sustainability charity first and foremost. But for a few years now, we’ve worked on developing our aims on ‘just transition’, and that has included embedding the fair work agenda outlined in the Fair Work Wales report in 2019 into our aims. That has meant working with trade unions, writing policy papers on spreading fair work principles throughout existing government programmes, and sitting on the Welsh Government’s group aimed at tackling modern slavery.  

We’re also the Living Wage Foundation’s accreditation partner for Wales, meaning we essentially host Living Wage Wales in house. Living Wage Wales has delivered over 22,000 pay rises for low-paid workers across Wales through this work, including 5,575 in 2023 alone – making a direct contribution to tackling the cost of living crisis. This fits with another key Cynnal Cymru principle – focus on action, not just words. 

This is what myself and my colleagues on the Fair Work and Living Wage team work on – but what does it have to do with sustainability? I’d say it has a huge contribution to make. We should be honest about the fact that there are vested interests who are opposed to carbon reduction and nature-positive actions, particularly at the scale we know these need to happen at. It barely needs saying, but profit motives very often run against sustainability aims. A tree can be a project stewarded by communities over hundreds of years that provides space for nature and clean air for people, or it can be a blocker to a new car park. At time of writing, it was only yesterday that we heard the UAE government plans to use COP28 to make oil deals.  

There are often efforts to protect private profit motives via leveraging the jobs business creates, to bind the inexorable destruction of the natural world to the interests of working people. In this framing, environmentalists and their causes are painted as cloistered from the demands of the real world that most people have to deal with. There’s no hiding from the fact that this can be an emotive and powerful dividing line, carving the people whose world is being worsened away from efforts to protect it. We saw in the recent Uxbridge by-election how action on emissions, in this case Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ), can be utilised for political gain. 

Focus on action – not just words.

For me, then, a just and fair transition isn’t just a slogan. It is a vital tool in our efforts towards carbon reduction and nature restoration. If our sustainability efforts are questioned, we can very happily point to the work we do to ensure that people have access to fair working conditions and boosting the pay of those in the lowest-paid jobs so that they can afford to live and not just exist. Work on a fair and just transition can bind working people to the cause of sustainability – not an inconvenience for people, but an opportunity. At a legislative level in Wales, the recent Social Partnership and Public Procurement Act has amended the Well-being of Future Generations Act to include ‘fair work’, and our well-being indicators include payment of the real Living Wage and trade union membership. This binds the cause of working people even closer to the task of saving our planet. 

If we get it right, the green transition gives us the opportunity to repair many of the broken elements of our economy. It can mean high-quality, unionised, green jobs spread across communities that have seen unfair working practices and low pay proliferate. Green skills training programmes that prepare our workforce for the future can contribute to bringing an end to the gender and racial inequities we see today. And of course, it can mean the avoidance of the road to disaster our climate and natural world are currently on.

So, as we look at Wales Climate Week and COP28, let’s keep the things that are important to people – their livelihoods, incomes, and their everyday lives – at the forefront of our minds. That’s what a just and fair transition is all about. 


Harry Thompson is Cynnal Cymru’s Senior Programmes and Policy Lead. He manages the Fair Work and Living Wage team, which work towards Cynnal Cymru’s strategic goal of a fair and just society. He comes from an economic policy background, having led projects on topics such as empowering trade unions, the Welsh Government’s fiscal framework, and community empowerment.

He is also our Equality and Diversity lead.

What can a just and fair net zero transition look like?  Read More »

Green Skills for a Net Zero Wales

How do we build green skills for a Net Zero Wales?

Last week, a few members of the Cynnal Cymru team attended Green Skills for a Net Zero Wales led by Business in the Community. In this breakfast briefing about the Green Skills agenda in Wales, likeminded organisations met to discuss green skills, with an address from the Minister of Economy in Wales, Vaughan Gething. Cynnal Cymru facilitated round tables with senior leaders in business of all sizes across Wales to exchange ideas on how everyone in Wales can grow a skilled workforce that meets Wales’ net zero commitments.  

What are Wales’ Net Zero Commitments?  

As part of the All Wales Plan 2021-25, organisations across every sector have pledged to make changes towards a net zero economy. In order to achieve a net zero economy, Wales as a whole needs to reduce our total emissions in 2030 by at least 90% relative to the baseline year, 2019-20.

How can we do this?

A key message in the event was championing the notion that green skills are not just about technical skills or the creation of new jobs. At Cynnal Cymru, we believe in a well-rounded approach to sustainable change, which is why we have a Fair Work team leading Living Wage Wales and a just transition to sustainable changes.  

Since joining Cynnal Cymru, I have attended and led events such as a Net Zero Skills round table for the Open University, a steering group for the IEMA green careers hub, and a Mainstreaming Equality for a Just Transition evidence panel. Through these conversations and research, I have come to realise that if we define green skills narrowly – only as technical jobs in energy and transport, for example – we will alienate people and will not reach our Net Zero transition goals. The UK economy, like many others, relies on sectors such as hospitality, retail, healthcare, construction, creative arts and more, which also need to be a part of this transition. Our focus must be on supporting existing sectors to upskill and re-skill their existing workforces so that huge communities don’t miss out on being part of a Net Zero economy.  

If we define green skills so narrowly – only as technical jobs in energy and transport, for example – we will alienate people and will not reach our Net Zero transition goals.

So why aren’t we doing this?

I noticed that organisations:  

  • Don’t have the time to think about green skills  
  • Don’t know where to start with these conversations or changes  
  • Don’t know how green skills apply to them  

I think this can be linked back to the understanding that every job can be green.  The Welsh Government is currently taking consultations on how to achieve net zero skills across sector. Cynnal Cymru is a member of the SME Taskforce for Climate, alongside other small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). As part of my work on this taskforce, I am educating workplaces across sectors on the ways they can understand their own skillset in relation to net zero.

Sign up for Cynnal Cymru’s newsletter to discover actions for nature or get in contact for how we can support you directly in your sustainability journey.

Karolina joined Cynnal Cymru in 2021 as our Sustainability Advisor to provide consultancy support to the public and private sectors on how to become more sustainable in their operations. She represents Cynnal Cymru on the SME Taskforce for the Climate.

Green Skills for a Net Zero Wales Read More »

Foundational Economy Community of Practice Research

Business support and fair work

Foundational sectors often struggle to implement, or benefit from, fair work practices. The following reports explore how this could be changed.

A better balance: business support for the foundational economy (2021).

Jack Watkins. The Institute of Welsh Affairs and Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales.  

A review of business support policy and practice of Business Wales, the Development Bank of Wales and Welsh Government and opportunities for changes to better support the foundational economy – ensuring grounded Welsh firms can receive necessary support to supply high quality everyday goods and services. Authors find that current support has positive impacts however only reaches a minority of Welsh firms, because it is often targeted at high-growth firms and particular sectors. Thus, the current support currently does not effectively support micro-firms to become successful and sustainable SMEs – a key part of a healthy foundational economy. Authors suggest measures for policy makers could take to make business support work for the foundational economy better.  

Download the paper from The Institute of Welsh Affairs and Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales on business support for the foundational economy

Fair work in the foundational economy: what should be done (2021).

Victoria Winckler. Bevan Foundation.   

A report bringing together key findings from work previously published by the Bevan Foundation on experiences of working within some sectors of the foundational economy and an international review of promising policy and practice to approaches to fair work. It shows that work in the foundational economy is often of low quality including low pay and low hours, highlighting a need to improve terms and conditions. Drawing lessons from the international review, the report makes recommendations for a range of actors including policy makers, local government, Business Wales and the Development Bank for Wales to support fair work within the foundational economy.  Authors use The Fair Work Commission in Wales’ components of fair work; fair reward, employee voice and collective representation, security and flexibility, opportunity for access, growth and progression, safe healthy and inclusive work and that legal rights are respected and given substantive effect.  

Download the paper from the Bevan Foundation on fair work in the foundational economy

Fair work in the foundational economy: key data (2021).

Anne Green and Paul Sissons. Bevan Foundation.  

Download the report from the Bevan Foundation for key data on fair work in the foundational economy

The impact of regulation in the foundational economy (2021).

Jack Watkins and The Means. The Institute of Welsh Affairs, Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales and The Means.  

An outline of the effect of current regulations and their enforcement on Welsh small and medium firms of the foundational economy. Authors use interviews with business owners in construction, social care, food and manufacturing demonstrating confusion over rules, the complexity of overlapping requirements and overly rigid enforcement. The report outlines how regulation and enforcement can disproportionately impact small and medium sized business, causing difficulty for new businesses to be successful. Authors make a series of recommendations for regulatory bodies, including Welsh Government and local authorities to help support small and medium sized businesses of the foundational economy.  

Download the paper from the Institute of Welsh Affairs, Centre of Regeneration Excellence Wales and The Means on the impact of regulation in the foundational economy

What can Welsh Government do to increase the number of grounded SME firms in food processing and distribution? (2021).

Andrew Bowman, Julie Froud, Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal, Kevin Morgan and Karel Williams. Foundational Economy Research.   

An analysis of the Welsh food system from field to fork and the business models of SMEs which form a part of this system, with recommendations on a range of coordinated policies to secure and increase the number of grounded Welsh SMEs processing and distributing food. Authors define a Welsh grounded SME as an SME which is independently owned in Wales with a high proportion of assets in Wales. Authors argue specific policies are required for the specific characteristics of every food system, including Wales. They put forward a number of priorities to move forward; one, engage supermarket chains in a greater effort to recruit Welsh SME suppliers, two, effectively use public procurement to create demand side opportunity and finally maintain and consolidate infrastructures to support Welsh food SMEs. 

Download the paper from Foundational Economy Research on what the Welsh Government can do to increase the number of grounded SME firms in food processing and distributing

Business support and fair work Read More »

Community Care Collaborative: Transforming Primary Care in Wrexham

The Community Care Collaborative (CCC) is a Community Interest Company that provides an innovative and integrated approach to healthcare in Wales.

Founded by Dr. Karen Sankey in 2018, CCC developed a very clear vision for primary care after realising that the current model was failing at several levels.

Through research and testing, it found that patients often visit a doctor with an issue that has a social or mental health basis, which it believes GPs are not equipped to deal with in the best way.

Added to this, it’s thought that the volume of patients that a GP is expected to see in a day on top of other duties such as medicines, makes it impossible to provide an adequate service to every single person.

The solution is a model which delivers “an alternative model of health, social care and wellbeing in which GPs (doctors) are able to focus on providing medical care, and where, through working collaboratively at a community level with other agencies and patients themselves, the social and emotional needs of patients are given equal priority to their medical needs”, as its mission statement shares.

“The Challenge Fund seemed to me to be very much about trying to do things differently and about taking a chance to really give something a go to find out whether it works or not.”

Before receiving a Challenge Fund grant, CCC had already secured contracts to trial this model at three GP practices in Wrexham and had been granted permission to take over its first practice in September 2019 with the second and third following in January and April 2020.

However, the Challenge Fund grant has been essential in enabling CCC to develop its ideas further and successfully set up and recruit in a vast number of different areas of health and social care over the last 12 months.

Alison Hill of Capacity Lab, who assisted in bringing the model to life said that, “The Challenge Fund seemed to me to be very much about trying to do things differently and about taking a chance to really give something a go to find out whether it works or not.”

Firstly, CCC recruited a permanent emotional wellbeing team which is present at all three practices and aims to provide a first point of contact for patients that are in need of wellbeing support directly after booking an appointment.

What commonly happens in these cases is patients are referred on to other mental health organisations and can bounce back, so a key focus of this team is to reduce onward referrals by providing services in-house such as support groups, medication reviews, memory assessments and psychotherapy.

The organisation has seen that utilising this model alone has seen onward referrals reduce by over 57% compared with the previous evaluation period (Apr-Sept 2019).

Not only does this mean that patients are being provided a more appropriate and immediate response, but the cost savings to other health and social care services are likely to be significant. A social impact evaluation of CCC’s Emotional Well-Being Team found that it had delivered social value worth more than £1million in its first 12 months to November 2020, representing a social return on investment of 6.42:1.

More important to those involved is that 33% of people supported within this model (who were asked for feedback), said that without support they may have taken their own lives, further demonstrating the positive impact that the model is having.

To support the referral process, CCC recognise that as first responders to calls, front desk staff play a vital role in the patient process so it invested in training to develop them into ‘Care Navigators’. People within this role now have the knowledge to respond to individual patient needs and signpost them towards the relevant team, rather than automatically referring them to a GP.

Due to the high level of demand during Covid-19 and the huge upheaval of a system that has been in place for years, the booking system is an area that CCC is still working to make as effective as possible through continuous testing and experimentation.

Alison says, “We tried eConsult (Lite), which didn’t work out so we changed it and adapted it…it’s improving, but that is something that we haven’t got right yet and we still need to work very much on.”

Despite the obstacles faced by the pandemic, CCC is really proud of its progress this year, although there are some areas where work still need to be done, especially in recruiting full time salaried GPs.

Although CCC has been able to employ some part time doctors, Alison explains that a huge obstacle primary care is currently facing is that many GPs are working as temporary doctors known as locums, which she says, “In terms of finances, it’s going to destroy primary care.”

As they move towards the goal of recruiting more full time GPs in 2021, the team is confident that this integrated model will prove attractive to GPs, as it gives them more opportunity to concentrate solely on medical needs and to patients as they will be able to access a much wider range of inhouse support.

As CCC looks towards the future, it will be concentrating its efforts on recruiting full time salaried GPs, and building partnerships from within the Welsh Government’s FECF Community of Practice, as well as other organisations that can help to replicate this model across Wales.

Community Care Collaborative: Transforming Primary Care in Wrexham Read More »

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