Successful Launch of Work, Skills and Well-being in Wales

Research, funded by WISERD, finds workers in Wales are happier than workers elsewhere in Britain, despite jobs being lower paid and less skilled.

Report findings from the Skills and Employment Survey 2012 were launched at the event: Work, Skills and Well-being in Wales yesterday.

Work, Skills and Well-being in Wales: First Findings from the Skills and Employment Survey 2012 – See more at:

The findings are based on face-to-face interviews with 3,200 workers aged 20-65 undertaken by Professor Alan Felstead from Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences and Rhys Davies from WISERD.

The following results were presented:

  • Pay is lower in Wales than other parts of Britain – workers in Wales get around four-fifths of the British average rate of pay, and about two-thirds of what workers in London and the South East earn.
  • However, jobs in Wales are less skilled, with part-time jobs among the lowest skilled of all.
  • Despite this, workers in Wales display higher levels of job satisfaction, enthusiasm and contentment with their work.
  • They are also more committed to the organisations they work for – they have higher loyalty levels and they are more willing to work hard to help the organisation succeed.
  • However, good quality work is relatively scarce with workers in Wales saying that it is more difficult to find a comparable job than workers in other parts of Britain.


These are among some of the findings from the 2012 Skills and Employment Survey.  The survey, conducted every six years, is jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).  Additional support for the Welsh sample came from the WISERD.

Professor Alan Felstead said: “Work in Wales remains poorly paid and lowly skilled.  Once in a job, workers in Wales fear that it would be difficult to find a job as good as the one they currently have and that comparable alternatives are fewer and far between.  As a result, workers are more satisfied and happier with their jobs compared to workers in more prosperous areas where alternative jobs of the same quality are more plentiful.”

They also noted that workers in Wales are more optimistic about keeping their jobs compared to those working elsewhere.  However, fewer workers in Wales have experienced recent job loss and organisational change at their place of work than in other parts of Britain.  Both factors are closely associated with job insecurity.

“With the Welsh economy more dependent on the public sector, the effects of the austerity measures have yet to be fully felt,” said Rhys Davies.  “Once they are, the mood of workers in Wales may change drastically and leave us with less to cheer about.”

The reports were be launched at Cardiff University on Monday 8th July 2013 with the support of the Bevan Foundation.

Copies of the reports can be download from this website: