WBL redundancies: Welsh Government must maintain flexibility in delivery models

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ColegauCymru is calling on Welsh Government to ensure flexibility in work-based learning (WBL) delivery models as new figures on apprentices furloughed or made redundant are published.  

Continuing the trend seen from figures published in early September, the outlook remains bleak. The apprentices who continue to be most affected are young, male, white or mixed race, with the construction, hospitality and hair and beauty sectors hardest hit. Those not studying higher apprenticeships, working for companies with less than 10 employees, employed in the private sector and living in less deprived neighbourhoods along with those apprentices who self-identified as having a 'primary disability and/or learning difficulty' also continue to be the worst affected.  

As of 25 September, 2,980 apprentices remain furloughed. The number of apprentices who had their apprenticeships terminated due to redundancy has almost doubled from 50 to 95 compared to the previous month. An additional 180 apprentices had been made redundant but remain in learning. 

As we fast approach the end of the UK government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, ColegauCymru is urging Welsh Government to maintain flexibility in delivery models of WBL programmes as the sector navigates an unprecedented situation and a new normal in a post-Covid world. 

ColegauCymru Strategic WBL Group Lead Barry Walters said, 

“The figures paint a bleak picture for the work-based learning sector in Wales and one which is likely to worsen come the end of October. Providers continue to work tirelessly to source alternative employment for learners who have been furloughed or made redundant.” 

ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies added, 

“Welsh Government must reinforce its support and funding for the WBL sector. Failure to do so will have a detrimental effect not only on learners, further education colleges and the local communities they operate in, but the ability of the economy to recover and rebuild in the aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic”. 

Further Information

Welsh Government Statistics 
Apprentices furloughed or made redundant during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: up to 25 September 2020 
6 October 2020 
ColegauCymru News Article 
The effects of Covid19 pandemic clearly visible in apprenticeship furlough and redundancy numbers 
28 September 2020 

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