Post-16 education charity ColegauCymru has today welcomed the proposed increase in funding for further education and sixth form, as part of Welsh Government’s draft budget for 2021/22.
Acknowledging the increasing need to help adults in work to adapt to the changing pattern of employment, the charity has supported the continued investment into Personal Learning Accounts that provides opportunities to retrain and upskill.
However, the organisation has warned that with the continued impact of Covid19 and the likely long-term impact on the economy, ministers and importantly, the next Welsh Government, must continue to invest in lifelong learning.
ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies said,
“The recognition of increasing demand for further education, and for training and skills is a welcome commitment. The apparent investment of £20million into this policy area will provide assurance for both colleges and school sixth forms. I am pleased that ministers are listening, engaging and importantly, responding to the need to match the population growth in the number of young people with an investment in their future.”
The draft budget sees an increase in the funding designated to post-16 education and outlines the overall position set out by government. The detail of the budget will be debated in coming weeks prior to it being agreed by the Senedd. The continued challenge of Covid19 will place additional strain on Welsh Government’s expenditure. This is likely to be compounded by a probable no-deal Brexit and a lack of any clear plan on how important European-funded programmes will be replaced.
Mr Davies concluded,
“The twin challenges of a pandemic and Brexit make it more important than ever that the FE sector supports its communities through the provision of world-class education and technical and vocational training. The announcement in today’s draft budget goes some way to providing assurances and we will be scrutinising and debating as further detail emerges following the Christmas recess.”
Welsh Government Press Release
A Budget to protect health and jobs, build a greener future and create change for a more equal Wales
21 December 2020