ColegauCymru believes that the Welsh Government’s confirmation of investment in the FE-led work-based learning sector is essential to support Wales’ economic recovery post-Covid.
Details of the WG Apprenticeships Commissioning Programme Wales Framework Agreement were published on 19 April 2021, with ColegauCymru members Gower College Swansea, Cardiff and Vale College, NPTC Group, Pembrokeshire College, Coleg Cambria and Grwp Llandrillo Menai accounting for six of the 10 providers to be awarded contracts.
Through work-based learning, the Apprenticeship Programme will deliver the skills necessary for individuals to embark on successful careers. At the same time, employers will benefit from relevant skilled people to help meet the current and future needs of their businesses and the Welsh economy.
FIS Chief Executive Iain McIlwee said:
NPTC Group of Colleges, have a long established relationship with FIS, which has already brought forward many benefits. The announcement of the Wales Government contract will allow this work to be further enhanced, and given the green construction focus in Wales, such partnerships will be critical, linking academia to industry
Dr Barry Walters, Principal of Pembrokeshire College, who chairs the ColegauCymru WBL Strategic Group, said
“We welcome the support of Welsh Government and its investment in the WBL sector. The funding will have a positive effect not only on learners, further education colleges and the local communities they operate in, but the ability of the Welsh economy to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic.”“With the majority of future apprenticeship provision being allocated to FE colleges, the sector can continue to provide a high-quality, one-stop-shop for both individuals and businesses looking to up skill their workforce. We look forward to building on our existing success.”
Further education colleges in Wales are anchor institutions in their respective communities and are well placed to take forward the new Framework, not least because of their vast experience, but also having the comprehensive infrastructure for delivery already in place. This flagship Apprenticeship Programme provided by the FE sector will allow learners to gain valuable workplace experience which will better equip them for future work.
ColegauCymru Director of Development Kelly Edwards added,
“It is heartening to see that Welsh Government clearly recognise the value of investing in the WBL Programme. It will be essential to ensure continued and sustained investment to allow FE colleges to maintain and expand their provision.”
The focus of the new Framework is on aligning and raising the level of the skills market designed to meet employer needs with a system that is responsive to industry changes, particularly in the sectors that drive growth and prosperity.
The Framework will commence on 1 August 2021 and will run for 4 years until 31 July 2025.