National Milestones

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about National Milestones and how they will assist Ministers in measuring whether progress is being made at a national level towards the achievement of the well-being goals. The goals aim to help set us on a sustainable path for a more equal, prosperous, resilient, healthier and globally responsible Wales, with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language.

As you’ll have read in our first post the Milestones are an important part of the work under the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act passed in 2015 alongside National Indicators and Future Trends.

We already set National Indicators as a way of measuring progress against these well-being goals, so that we can all see if, for Wales as a whole, things are getting better. National Milestones for Wales will set out the expectations of progress, including the scale and pace of change required allowing us to assess whether we are on track. This is a legal requirement of the Act and makes an important contribution to supporting public bodies in Wales to achieve the well-being goals and collectively achieve our long term ambitions for Wales.

What are National Milestones?

The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act states that Milestones must be set that “…Welsh Ministers consider would assist in measuring whether progress is being made towards the achievement of the well-being goals.”

In doing so Welsh Ministers must specify how we know that a Milestone has been achieved and the time by which it is to be achieved.

In broader terms this means that we need to set a series of measures against National Indicators that will help us understand that they are moving in the right direction and moving us as a nation towards achieving the well-being goals. Unlike Welsh Government targets and strategies, the National Milestones are for Wales not Welsh Government and include all 44 public bodies. The Milestones are a collaborative tool to move forward with our shared vision and ambition for Wales for generations to come.

A National Milestone could be a specific target, or it could be a range or another way of helping us understand that we on the right track.

We consulted in 2019 on the criteria that National Milestones must meet and it was agreed that National Milestones must fit the below criteria:

  • A small number so we can focus our energy
  • Capable of being influenced significantly by our devolved Government
  • Achieving this milestone will unlock progress in a range of areas
  • Achieving this milestone will have a generational effect by preventing poor outcomes that would have a knock on effect for future generations
  • Will require action by a number of partners

We have also refined the small set of 16 indicators against which the Milestones will be set against, based on the responses to the 2019 consultation and what we have learned from our experiences during the Covid pandemic in the period since.

Next Steps

We intend to take a two waved approach to setting the National Milestones in order to ensure that the indicator and supporting data is in the best possible place before setting a target.

Over the next couple of months we intend to engage stakeholders, public bodies and interested parties in the development of the first wave of Milestones. These are the 8 Milestones (see fig 1) from the small set of indicators that have strong data supporting them allowing us to set a Milestone value in 2021. The subsequent 8 will then be set in 2022 following further work on the corresponding Indicators and data sources.

National Indicator 5 Percentage of children who have fewer than two healthy lifestyle behaviours  
National Indicator 8 Percentage of adults with qualifications at the different levels of the National Qualifications Framework  
National Indicator 14 Ecological Footprint of Wales  
National Indicator 17 Pay Equality  
National Indicator 21 Percentage of people in employment  
National Indicator 22 Percentage of people in education, employment or training  
National Indicator 37 Percentage of people who can speak welsh  
National Indicator 41 Emissions of Greenhouse gases within Wales  
fig.1 National Indicators against which Wave 1 National Milestones will be set

We want to co-produce good quality, accessible and meaningful National Milestones that reflect the many voices of Wales’ diversity and seize the important opportunities provided by working together.

In order to do this we will be holding a series of engagement events over the coming months in order to gain views on the current thinking and direction of travel for the development of the National Milestones.

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