The elections to the Welsh Parliament in May 2021 offer an ideal opportunity to refocus and refine the unique role and contribution of Further Education to the varied and dynamic communities of Wales. As established and independent public service organisations, Wales’ Further Education Institutions (FEIs) are community assets providing an essential public service alongside the NHS and local government. Despite their essential role, particularly as Wales continues to adjust to the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic, and their well-documented contribution to economic and social wellbeing, the contribution of FEIs to Wales is often overlooked.

Our Policy Asks for the next Welsh Government sets out how achievable and targeted interventions could transform provision of learning from the age of sixteen onwards, placing citizens at the heart of social and economic policy. Some of these proposed interventions may require legislation but wherever possible change should be undertaken by amending existing legislation.

As a key part of Welsh life, considerations of the Welsh language run through all five of ColegauCymru’s policy themes. Highlighted is the Welsh language aspect from each theme, and how the next Welsh Government can support the further education sector to continue to deliver provision and support through the medium of Welsh.

All the interventions will require a genuine and meaningful reorientation of existing thinking and the challenging of long-established biases. Stable funding systems which allow at least medium-term planning underpin much of the action needed. However, a great deal will also rely on the future Welsh Government to adapt its own working practices, genuinely tackle issues of disjointed, silo-ed approaches to education, skills and society, and structure the civil service in a way that addresses this to better deliver for Wales.  Responsibilities for Further Education, skills and apprenticeships need to be the remit of a specific minister who understands the relationship between these areas and education, economy and society more broadly.

Read our policy recommendations for the next Welsh Government in post-16 education and lifelong learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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