Conference Challenge Facing Training Providers

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Delivering skills that work for Wales in a challenging economic climate will dominate the agenda when work based learning providers converge on the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport for a major conference on October 22.

This year’s annual conference organised by the National Training Federation Wales (NTfW) is held against a backdrop of a diminishing work based learning budget from the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).

But chairman Arwyn Watkins believes the NTfW network is in a strong position to meet the challenge and is calling for a ‘Team Wales’ approach to improve efficiency and cut bureaucracy so that learners do not lose out.

“We understand the need for the Welsh Assembly Government to reduce its budget and that it’s likely to get worse, but we also have to ensure that we meet the growing demands from learners without compromising on quality,” he said.

“We, as learning providers, must be open to change and there needs to be a total Team Wales approach. We are no longer the Cinderellas of the education and training world and are in a strong position to meet these new challenges by utilising the quality network that has developed over the years.”

Mr Watkins, who is managing director of award-winning Cambrian Training Company, is urging WAG to exploit the full potential of its partnership with NTfW members, whilst also reviewing all programmes to secure the maximum return on investment by reducing bureaucracy in programme delivery.

He said the NTfW’s annual conference, themed ‘Delivering Skills to Survive and Thrive’, is a must for any learning provider that cares about delivering skills that work for Wales

One of the key speakers is John Griffiths, WAG’s Deputy Minister for Skills. He will be joined on the rostrum by Mr Watkins, NTfW president Lord Ted Rowlands, Dennis Gunning, director of WAG’s Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning Group, Sir Adrian Webb, chair of Wales Employment and Skills Board, Janet Barlow, Agored Cymru chief executive and Michelle Creed, Lifelong Learning UK’s director for Wales. The conference will be hosted by TV presenter Sally Challoner.

The afternoon session will comprise a series of six workshops on securing the future delivery of work based learning programmes, the implementation of a Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales, the National Planning and Funding System, the challenges centres face in offering apprenticeships, learner success and benchmarking and management development.

The NTfW is a network of 83 quality assured training providers across Wales who are contracted by WAG to deliver £116 million of work based learning programmes from a total allocation of £126 million. The network comprises private sector training providers, local authorities, further education institutions, charities and the voluntary sector.

To book a place at the conference contact or Tel: 0844 736 2651.

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