NPTC Group of Colleges was one of many further education institutions supporting Colleges Wales’ Love Our Colleges Week.
The campaign has been designed to raise awareness of the exceptional work that goes on in Further Education, and the inspirational staff that make it all possible. The campaign calls on Welsh Government for better investment in colleges, and fair pay for college staff.
NPTC Group of Colleges, which offers a wealth of courses on nine sites serving one-third of the landmass of Wales, is taking this opportunity to highlight incredible student achievements and exceptional staff that deliver consistently outstanding results – a pass rate that has exceeded 99 per cent for 13 years. Offering nearly 40 A Levels and countless vocational courses, the College is understandably proud of the successes that come from its beating heart – the students.
The College, as a further education provider, is an essential part of learning in Wales, providing a range of lifelong learning opportunities – from first-class vocational and technical education to academic and higher-level qualifications. NPTC Group of Colleges’ mission is inspiring learning, enriching lives, delivering success and its strapline is more than just an education, and those sentiments run through the very core of the College. Education is important, but so too is the enrichment, betterment and growth of its stakeholders and the communities it serves. Altogether, the economic impact of the FE sector in Wales is £4 billion each year.
#LoveOurColleges is not just an opportunity to celebrate success, but a chance to highlight a sector that is overlooked and underfunded. Year-on-year since 2008, funding for the FE sector has been cut. Without sufficient funding, the sector will not be able to continue to provide the high-quality skills provision that Wales needs.
To offset the funding deficit, NPTC Group of Colleges has done all it can to reduce its reliance on Welsh Government funding, acquiring a number of subsidiary companies to ensure it continues to operate at the highest level. Without that additional income, the College would not still be delivering all it does to the communities it serves.
Mark Dacey, CEO and Principal of NPTC Group of Colleges, said:
“I am proud to back the Love Our Colleges campaign. I love NPTC Group of Colleges for many reasons. Foremost, it’s changing lives of people in the communities it serves. We see people coming through our doors as school children and leaving as young adults progressing to the next chapter in their lives; we see young adults starting their journey into Higher Education with the vast range of degree and university courses we offer; we see adults returning to education for self-advancement, career development, and for the joy of learning. We see businesses, and those in employment, benefit from professional training courses. We see the whole spectrum, and I am immensely proud of the contribution the College makes to the lives of those individuals and our communities.
“NPTC Group of Colleges owns a number of subsidiary companies, the profits of which go back into education in Neath Port Talbot and Powys. But we also run many social enterprises – not for profit, but because it is our social responsibility to provide facilities for the communities we serve. We own and operate a swimming pool, a much-loved local facility that was on the brink of closure when the council could no longer afford to run it. We own and operate a swimming pool, a much-loved local facility that was on the brink of closure when the council could no longer afford to run. The Neath Port Talbot Council for Volunteer Services, NPTC Group of Colleges, along with a community interest group, Afan Valley Community Leisure took on the operation of the pool even though financial projections told us it would run at a loss. It was vital to the College that this community resource was not lost. To this day, it remains one of my proudest moments.”
Iestyn Davies, Chief Executive ColegauCymru / CollegesWales said,
“Colleges play a crucial role in ensuring people have the right skills and knowledge to enter the workplace with confidence and help contribute to the Welsh economy. ColegauCymru / CollegesWales hopes Welsh Government sees value in the college offer and ask that it continues its support through sufficient funding.
“Further education is a crucial part of Wales’ evolving education system. Everyone should be able to get in and get on in education no matter what their background. Everyone must also be able to follow the best path for them, and ensuring that our colleges are accessible and well-funded is essential to that.”