Estyn Chief Calls for Better Collaboration in Wales
HMI Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales, Dr Bill Maxwell, will call for better collaboration between education and training providers, employers and the voluntary sectors in Wales when he addresses a national conference in Cardiff tomorrow (Thursday).
Dr Maxwell will also highlight the substantial and continuing improvement in the quality of management and delivery in work-based learning over the past three years.
Speaking at the ‘Skills Working for Wales’ conference, organised by the National Training Federation Wales (NTFW) at the Copthorne Hotel, he will also outline plans by Estyn for a more streamlined inspection process for work-based learning providers in Wales from 2010. Talks with partners and stakeholders have already begun and a formal consultation exercise is expected early next year.
Collaboration will also be a key part of the conference speech by Deputy Minister for Skills John Griffiths, who is expected to refer to the Welsh Assembly Government’s radical plans to transform education and training provision.
The Assembly Government’s recently published statement of intent document ‘Transforming the Education and Training Provision in Wales’ contains a series of proposals to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness of education and training delivery by changing the ways in which providers collaborate and reducing the number of providers.
Education and training providers across Wales are now being asked for their responses on how they are going to deliver the changes.
The conference, which is being chaired by new NTFW chairman Arwyn Watkins, therefore comes at a crucial time for training and education in Wales.
Delivering the challenge will be the subject of an address by Dennis Gunning, director of skills, higher education and lifelong learning at the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS).
The other keynote speaker, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, director of research and innovation at the University of Wales, will focus on what the employer needs and expects from training.
Topics to be covered by workshops include from quality to excellence, sustainability, the transformation agenda and managing change through partnership, workforce development and employer engagement and work-based learning and e-learning developments.
The NTFW has a network of 80 members nationwide involved in the delivery of post 16 learning. They comprise private sector training providers, local authorities, further education institutions, charities and the voluntary sector.
Mr Watkins said his main objective as chairman was to establish the strategic direction of the federation to ensure that it was fit for purpose to deliver the Welsh Assembly Government’s Skills that Work for Wales Strategy and Action Plan.
“I want to get learning providers working together more collaboratively and to firmly establish the federation as the leading voice for the delivery of skills for and in the workplace,” he added.
“As our network of providers is engaged with about 30,000 businesses in Wales daily, we are well placed to understand the changing needs of employers.”
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