From education to employment

Welsh colleges welcome funding allocations

The latest funding allocations to FE colleges and institutions in Wales demonstrate the government’s continuous support for skills funding, according to Welsh education charity ColegauCymru / CollegesWales.

The allocations for the academic year 2012/13, which were issued yesterday, show an overall increase in cash terms of 2.5% compared to the previous year. They also reveal the continuation of two separate funding streams: Pathways to Apprenticeships and adult skills.

The Pathways to Apprenticeships and adult skills programmes were set up during the economic downturn of 2009 to equip young people with the necessary skills to break into the jobs market.

Participants follow a one year full time intensive FE learning programme, during which they achieve a Level 2 vocational qualification so that they will be eligible for accelerated completion of an Apprenticeship with an employer.

With unemployment still being a major concern for young people today, the government’s decision to maintain these two valuable programmes for the next academic year has been warmly welcomed by local colleges.

John Graystone , chief executive of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, which represents all 20 FE colleges and institutions in the country, said: “The straightened economic climate is affecting businesses, families and individuals. Developing work-ready skills is of crucial importance in getting onto the jobs ladder and this is exactly what the Pathways to Apprenticeships and the adult skills programmes are designed to do.”

He stressed how hard the FE colleges have worked over the past few years to improve the quality of education and training delivery that they offer, commented also on the impending 2.5% increase in the colleges’ baseline funding.

“We fully understand that this is a cash increase and that the perceived increase will probably be wiped out by inflationary pressures and expected efficiency gains. Nonetheless, colleges appreciate that times are tough and that even an increase in cash terms only is something worth noting,” he said.

Apostolos Kostoulas

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