Conference To Highlight Success Of Work Based Learning

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Massive improvements to the work based learning success rate in Wales over the past five years will be highlighted at a major conference at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport tomorrow (Thursday).

Chairman Arwyn Watkins will tell the National Training Federation Wales’ annual conference that the projected work based learning success rate for 2008/2009 will be in excess of 70 per cent. From being a cause of concern in Estyn’s annual report 2003/2004, work based learning in Wales is now the envy of the rest of the UK.

“We are all striving for excellence and this cannot be diluted by continued investment in poor quality provision irrespective of provider type,” he will tell the conference.

“Transformation within work based learning has been constant since the establishment of NTfW not only in the reduction of contracted providers but more importantly in to a high quality delivery network.

“There is much more to be done but we cannot achieve this in isolation. I know we are a sector that just wants to get on and do the job but we have to consider how to be more efficient and effective not only within our own network but the wider education and skills community.”

The conference, ‘Delivering skills to survive and thrive’, will also be addressed by John Griffiths, the Welsh Assembly Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills, who will speak about Skills that Work for Wales, WAG’s skills and employment strategy.

Other keynote speakers are Lord Ted Rowlands, NTfW’s president, Dennis Gunning, director of WAG’s Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning Group, Janet Barlow, Agored Cymru chief executive, Michelle Creed, Lifelong Learning UK’s director for Wales and Sir Adrian Webb, Wales Employment and Skills Board chair.

Delivering skills that work for Wales in a challenging economic climate will dominate the agenda at the conference, which is held against a backdrop of five per cent efficiency savings in WAG’s post 16 learning budget.

In his speech, based on an employer’s perspective of employment and skills, Sir Adrian Webb will express concern about the high level of youth unemployment in Wales. He will tell delegates that the Wales Employment and Skills Board has initiated a working group to review the long term implications of youth unemployment and will soon be presenting a new set of proposals to WAG.

Referring to the challenges facing Wales, he will call for more resources to be made available to provide 18 to 25-year-olds with skills and training

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