Julie James was proud to be elected to serve her home town in 2011 and for the last five years, she has worked very hard for the people of Swansea West, both in the Constituency and at the Assembly.

Julie James at the top of Meridian Tower

Julie James at the top of Meridian Tower

Julie was born in Swansea but spent a lot of her youth living around the world with her family. Julie joined the Labour Party at the age of 16 and was the first person in her family to study at University.

She spent her early career in London and then moved back to Swansea with her husband to raise their three children and to be closer to her family.

Julie studied American Studies(History) at Sussex University and then went on to complete the Diploma in Law and the Bar Finals exam. She spent most of her legal career in local government, including working as a policy lawyer with the London Borough of Camden where she gained her solid understanding of the practical processes and needs of government and her ability to be able to work effectively despite the heartless policies of a Conservative Government.

Julie returned to Swansea to work for West Glamorgan County Council, as the Assistant County Secretary (Legal Services),and then the City and County of Swansea, where her final post was Assistant Chief Executive (Governance). She then left the council in protest at the signing of a contract which wasted millions of pounds under the Liberal Democrats and went on to join a law practice specialising in Environmental and Constitutional law, including Public Procurement.

Julie is a committed green campaigner, environmentalist and a keen swimmer and skier.

During Julie’s time at the Assembly she sat on the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, Enterprise and Business Committee and Environment and Sustainability Committee, chairing the procurement and common fisheries task and finish groups. Julie was appointed Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology in September 2014.

The Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology is responsible for:
• Further Education (other than Further Education Governance);
• Apprenticeship and Skillbuild policy and delivery;
• NEETS and employability support, including Jobs Growth Wales and the Young People’s Guarantee;
• Sector skills including strategies, development funds and the Sector Skills Council;
• Wales Employment and Skills Board and the Commission for Employment and Skills;
• Vocational, key and essential skills qualifications for all ages;
• Implementation of the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales;
• Workforce skills development, including the Wales Union Learning Fund and other Union-delivered learning services;
• Chwarae Teg;
• European Structural Funds relating to skills and employment;
• Prisoner learning;
• Skills Growth Wales, React and Adapt;
• Simplification and integration of business skills and business development services;
• Development, retention and attraction of higher level research students for Wales;
• Maximisation of economic benefits of higher education research and development;
• Careers advice, including sponsorship of Careers Wales;
• Digital Wales, including broadband and ICT infrastructure (within the Economy, Science and Technology portfolio).