FMQs – ONS Data Hub in Newport

Today I got the opportunity to ask the First Minister about how the Welsh Government intends to work with the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS intends to build a new Data Hub in Newport with the idea of inspiring companies to work with it to find new and innovative ways data can be used.  This is an exciting opportunity for Newport, South East Wales and Wales as a whole which will hopefully attract good jobs to the area.

The transcript of my question and the First Ministers answer is below.

Jayne Bryant – What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the opportunity to work with the Office for National Statistics?

First Minister Carwyn Jones – We work with the ONS across a range of issues, including the census, of course, economic statistics, the National Survey for Wales and, of course, the development of the new data campus.

Jayne Bryant AM – Thank you, First Minister. The ONS’s new data science campus is being established in Newport. The campus aims to build world-leading expertise in data science and benefit from faster, richer economic, social and environmental data. The campus will also carry out cutting-edge research for the public good, exploiting the growth and availability of innovative sources. Several data science apprenticeships under the Welsh Government’s scheme will be filled, and an MSc in analysis for government will start in 2017, working with a number of universities. This will help to develop significant expertise in this area, and presents an opportunity to create a data hub around the ONS in Newport by attracting other companies. What can the Welsh Government do to support and encourage this development for the benefit of the Welsh economy?

First Minister Carwyn Jones – The creation of the campus is a great boost for the region; it shows that that tech sector is thriving, and we’ve been working with the ONS to help them to maximise the benefits for Wales. It does provide us with an opportunity as a Government to explore the use of new sources of data, and to encourage more intelligent use of data and analytics within the public sector. We are already considering what potential projects we might be able to move forward with the help of the ONS.