Welsh Government Draft Budget 2024-25

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Consultation Responses 

Finance Committee

Deadline for submission: 30th November 2023 

Further education and work-based learning are not luxury items that are simply ‘nice to have’ – they are both absolutely fundamental to our economic recovery and to building the fairer society we all want to build. Cutting funding for either will weaken the potential for sustainable economic growth and impact the life chances of people living in our poorest communities. The cumulative impact of any potential budget reductions to FE and apprenticeships should be understood as a whole. The time to invest in our learners, our workers, and our second-chancers is now.

The education and social impact of the pandemic is still evident through poor levels of attendance in schools, significant mental health challenges facing many learners, and evidence of wider behavioural challenges of learners entering college. FE needs to be properly resourced to allow it to mitigate the impact of the pandemic during school education and to ensure the most vulnerable learners are not doubly disadvantaged.

The proposed 24% cut to the apprenticeship programme will see the largest drop in work-based learning activity since devolution, with around 10,000 fewer individuals able to start an apprentice next year. This will immediately undermine support for our anchor companies and SMEs, as well as putting future inward investment opportunities at risk. Protecting the apprenticeship and part-time learning budgets are essential to ensuring employers can upskill their workforce and grow their businesses.

Further Information

Please contact ColegauCymru Policy Officer, Amy Evans, with any questions.

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