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Ken Skates

Ken Skates 2016.jpg
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales
Assumed office
19 May 2016
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
Mark Drakeford
Preceded byEdwina Hart
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism
In office
12 September 2014 – 19 May 2016
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
Preceded byJohn Griffiths
Succeeded byDafydd Elis-Thomas
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology
In office
June 2013 – September 2014
First MinisterCarwyn Jones
Preceded byJeff Cuthbert
Succeeded byJulie James
Member of the Senedd
for Clwyd South
Assumed office
6 May 2011
Preceded byKaren Sinclair
Majority3,016 (13.6%)
Personal details
Born (1976-04-02) 2 April 1976 (age 44)
Wrexham, Wales
Political partyWelsh Labour
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
WebsiteOfficial website

Kenneth Christian Skates MS (born 2 April 1976)[1] is a Welsh Labour politician. Skates has represented the constituency of Clwyd South in the Senedd since the election of 2011. He is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, and worked as a journalist prior to becoming a politician. In September 2014 he became the deputy minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport. From May 2016 to December 2018 he was the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills, and is presently the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales.

Early life and career

Skates was born in Wrexham, Wales, and attended Ysgol y Waun in Gwernaffield and the Alun School, Mold, where he studied A-levels in physics, maths, English and politics. After achieving four A grades he went to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge to study social and political sciences, specialising in European regional policy and economics.[1][2]

After graduating, Skates took a gap-period in the United States, before joining The Leader (Wrexham) newspaper. He studied for his NVQ in journalism at Yale College, Wrexham, and then went freelance working for the Daily Express.[3]


Whilst working as a freelance journalist, Skates began working as office manager for Mark Tami, Welsh Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside.[3] Skates was the lead Labour candidate for the North Wales regional seat in 2007 but wasn't elected. In 2011 he stood and was elected with 42% of the vote in Clwyd South,[4] and was successfully re-elected in 2016.

In 2012 he was one of four MSs to stand up in the Senedd chamber to talk about their experiences with mental health problems.[2]

In June 2013, Skates was appointed by Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones as Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology.[5] In a reshuffle in September 2014 he was made Deputy Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport in September 2014,[6] replacing John Griffiths.[7]

Following his re-election as MS for Clwyd South in the May 2016 Senedd elections, Ken Skates was promoted to Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Infrastructure and Skills in the Welsh Government.

In the formation of the Drakeford government in December 2018, Skates was appointed Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales.


  1. ^ a b "SKATES, Kenneth Christian". Who's Who. 2019 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Henry, Graham (17 February 2010). "Ken Skates: 'I thought speech on mental health had ruled me out of promotion'". WalesOnline. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b "About". Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Election results for Clwyd South". National Assembly for Wales. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Huw Lewis is named Wales education minister". BBC News. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  6. ^ "New Cabinet announced by First Minister". Welsh Government. 11 September 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  7. ^ "New Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism, Ken Skates AM". CILIP. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2016.

External links

Senedd Cymru
Preceded by
Karen Sinclair
Member of the Senedd for Clwyd South
Political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Cuthbert
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology
2013 - 2014
Succeeded by
Julie James
Preceded by
John Griffiths
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism
2014 - 2016
Succeeded by
Dafydd Elis-Thomas
Preceded by
Edwina Hart
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport
2016 - present
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 22 January 2021, at 23:37
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