Daniel Hewitt and Paul Heaney are trainee broadcast journalists at Cardiff Journalism School and edit PolitcsWales.com
By Daniel Hewitt and Paul Heaney
The Plaid Leader said the referendum had given Wales the chance to move forward from years of Labour amnesia at Westminster.
Mr Jones pledged to create 50,000 jobs in Wales through a £500m Build for Wales scheme, which would help give the private sector the tool to help the country out of the economic downturn.
He said: “We won’t be a bank, but will use public money and give it to the private sector.
“The trouble with Welsh businesses is quite often they grow to a point, then are either bought out by larger companies or don’t move on to the next level and we want to change that”
The plan centres around the creation of a not-for-profit organisation which provides investment to develop public infrastructure and support small businesses.
But Mr Jones was also keen to point out that in some areas of Wales it was skills rather than jobs that were lacking. He stressed it is up to the next government to prepare a whole generation of young people for the world of work.
Mr Jones suggested that the higher education system should become part of the Department for the Economy and Transport in Wales, so graduates, who are in demand, can be developed for a new, greener economy.
With the Assembly elections less than six weeks away, the speech represents Plaid’s first formal attempt to offer a party-specific economic policy distinct from the Labour-Plaid coalition agenda.
Mr Jones spoke of the need for a “decade of delivery and meeting expectations” which include a target of 75 per cent of procurement in Wales going to Welsh businesses – up from around 50 per cent at the moment.
Plaid Cymru’s are expected to announce their plans for investing in the road and rail networks shortly.
Over the coming weeks the party will be trying to find the balance between offering fresh solutions to boost the Welsh economy whilst defending their record in government since 2007.