ColegauCymru has responded to today’s Welsh Government draft budget announcement, warning of a devastating blow to work-based learning and further education sectors.
Reacting to the announcement, ColegauCymru Chief Executive, David Hagendyk, said,
“The cuts to the apprenticeship programme announced by Welsh Government today are a devastating blow to apprentices, employers, and communities. It could mean 10,000 fewer apprentices able to start next year, with the reductions falling disproportionately on young people, and those in the lowest socio-economic groups.”
“As Wales navigates turbulent economic times, colleges are the skills engine needed to drive economic recovery. It is critical that future inward investment is not damaged, and today’s budget decision is a huge gamble for Wales’ economy and communities. The Welsh Government must think again and reverse today’s catastrophic decision to cut the apprenticeship programme.”
Funding for further education
“There is welcome recognition from Welsh Government of the importance of continuing to support college learners with the lasting legacy of the pandemic, however reductions in grants alongside additional financial pressures will mean that this will be a very difficult year for the sector. Colleges must be properly resourced to allow them to mitigate the impact of the Covid school years and ensure that the most vulnerable learners are not doubly disadvantaged. Protecting the core curriculum and ensuring colleges can support their learners is imperative.”
“Further education and colleges are absolutely central to a fairer, greener and stronger Wales, but they need sustainable funding to be able to support learners and to deliver for employers. The combination of the cuts to the apprenticeship budget and reductions in funding elsewhere mean there is a perfect storm facing the sector as a result of the proposals in the draft budget.”
Rachel Cable, Director of Policy and Public Affairs