From education to employment

Demonstrating the social value of further education colleges in Wales

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CollegesWales is delighted to launch new research which highlights the social value of further education colleges in Wales. 

With grant funding from Welsh Government, CollegesWales commissioned development agency Cwmpas and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) to carry out a research project to establish the social value of FE in Wales. As anchor institutions, colleges make a significant contribution to their local economies and communities. This research aims to develop a current understanding of the impact and social value of the college sector. 

The sector is currently navigating a challenging period – with the public purse under intense pressure and changes to our education infrastructure. Given the challenges facing today’s Wales, FE colleges are more important than ever, and stand ready to help Welsh Government meet its ambitions of delivering a stronger, greener and fairer Wales.  

The research draws together evidence from across Wales emphasising the key contributions colleges make to their local communities, public services and industries. The data and case studies are mapped against Wales’ seven wellbeing goals, which form the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act: 

  • A prosperous Wales 
  • A resilient Wales 
  • A healthier Wales 
  • A more equal Wales 
  • A Wales of more cohesive communities 
  • A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language 
  • A globally responsible Wales

CollegesWales Chief Executive, David Hagendyk, said,

“This important research helps to demonstrate the true value our further education colleges, not only for our learners, but in helping our communities to flourish and in supporting economic prosperity here in Wales. We’re pleased that the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Lynne Neagle MS was able to join us at our launch event in Cardiff Bay on 23 April, and are grateful to Welsh Government for their recognition of the key role colleges play in the Wales of today and the future.” 

Cwmpas Director of Business Growth and Consultancy Dr Sarah Evans, added,

“This ground breaking piece of research demonstrates the work that the FE Sector, in Wales, is doing to promote and embed social value throughout its activities. FE colleges are at the heart of their communities and are key anchor organisations in shaping their current and future local economies and this is a role that should not be overlooked. We look forward to seeing how the sector builds on this first piece of social value research, to gather future data and insight and continue to highlight the impact that the sector is having at local, regional and national levels.” 

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