Creating a range of employment opportunities within our organisation has been a priority and we recently recruited three digital apprentices. For these roles, we evolved our recruitment approach to guarantee interviews for ethnically diverse candidates who met the essential criteria for the role, also providing drop-in sessions for candidates to understand more about the role, the organisation and the support that would be available.
We've recently created an additional role for an EDI Manager within Sport Wales and have appointed to the role, with the successful applicant due to start in January. This recruitment campaign saw a much wider demographic of candidates than our usual campaigns, and we have utilised the learning from that to shape our recruitment practices for the future.
Working with the Welsh Government, Sport Wales has fed into an Anti-Racist Action Plan for Wales. The action plan is available here and includes commitments and responsibilities for Sport Wales through culture, heritage and sport. Additional funding has been secured to develop an organisation and sector-wide training programme tackling race inequalities.
The funding will also provide for a community champion approach supporting engagement with bespoke groups from ethnically diverse communities with a particular aim of increasing their representation amongst our community funded groups.
We've continued to benefit from the expertise of diversity and inclusion specialist training companies such as AKD Solutions and No Boundaries. This has allowed us to provide training to the leadership team at Sport Wales as well as launching an inclusive leadership programme for partners across the sector.
Building on this, the people development team has created the Positive Action in Leadership programme which aims to engage individuals from an ethnically diverse background into a bespoke programme of leadership development.
This includes individuals already employed in the sports sector as well as those seeking employment in the sports sector. Sport Wales is working with individuals who've expressed an interest in the programme to co-create content that's specific to individual needs in collaboration with AKD Solutions. The programme will launch in early 2023.
We're exploring new partnerships (such as with the Black Swimming Association (BSA) and Crowd Funder) so that we can make an impact in the communities where it's needed and that we've traditionally struggled to reach.
This is an area in which we recognise that we still need to do more. AKD Solutions have been working with community leaders to broaden our understanding of and connections with ethnically diverse organisations. The aim of this work is to build networks and ensure that Sport Wales develops an understanding of and the ability to serve these communities’ needs far better than we've been able to in the past.
The BSA Wales community delivery programme manager has been in the role since the summer and is working across Wales to link up key stakeholders, communities and groups to identify and understand user needs. This has led to work with partners who can provide water safety and wider aquatic opportunities across Wales.
Sport Wales has conducted research and gathered insight to understand the current landscape of volunteering in Wales with a specific focus on creating inclusive environments for volunteers. The research has identified key themes that will form the content of a learning series for the sport sector in Wales. Workshops will engage partners to consider recruitment, culture and retention through the lens of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Delivery is planned for early 2023.
We've provided monthly learning opportunities for staff through sessions led by external facilitators and subject matter experts.
Sport Wales has embarked on a new approach to investing in its national level partners, with tackling stubborn inequalities in access and participation, including among ethnically diverse communities, at the centre of decision- making. The new approach utilises participation and demand data, from specific demographics to ensure that funding flows to where impact is needed.
Our school sport survey which provides a rich vein of insight has returned new data that underpins the investment strategy, targeting funding to those partners who have the biggest size and scope to impact on ethnically diverse communities. The School Sport Survey insight has also provided bespoke data on race in sport, across participation and demand, which is provided to partners and the public to implement actionable change.
We're overhauling our investment approach into national partners. The new approach will see investment prioritised into partners that can deliver and support an equal, diverse and inclusive Sport sector in Wales, tied to an approach to accountability that will make clear the impact and the difference the investment is making. An overhaul of our community investment grants is nearly complete.
This has been designed and informed by users of the scheme with insight also being gained from those that haven't applied previously to improve accessibility and broaden reach. Procurement of the new system has been completed and the accessibility changes developed in conjunction with user research are being implemented. Concurrently, a discovery phase piece of work is being undertaken with Sport Wales’s partner network to better develop the role they can play in supporting diverse applications to our funding.