Regulation and Oversight of Post-Compulsory Education & Training: Response from further education sector

Posted on by karen.smith

ColegauCymru / CollegesWales and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW) welcome a number of recommendations made in a new report on the regulation and oversight of post-compulsory education and training in Wales. The report, which focuses on the need to deliver new forms of 16+ education and learning, recommends the creation of a new independent body to coordinate and innovate at all levels of post-compulsory education across Wales.

In particular, the report, Towards 2030 A framework for building a world-class post-compulsory education system for Wales, authored by Professor Ellen Hazelkorn and published on 10 March 2016, calls for better national-level structures and systems that can address the current lack of flexibility in Wales’ post-compulsory education and training system. It also adds to the increasing number of reports and statements seeking greater opportunities for higher level skills in Wales.

In a position that echoes both ColegauCymru’s Manifesto, Skills for a Prosperous Nation, and NTfW’s report on The Value of Apprenticeships in Wales, Professor Hazelkorn recognises the need for the next Welsh Government to work to provide an overall vision for the post-compulsory system. In doing so, the two organisations commend the report in the way that it sets out to ensure Wales has systems and structures in place to align the social, cultural and economic needs of the nation and to deliver a sustainable skills agenda, both regionally and nationally, and for now and well into the future.

Chief Executive of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, Iestyn Davies, said: “The current Welsh Government has worked with ColegauCymru, NTfW and other partners to improve access to vocational learning pathways, recognise the value of vocational learning options post-16 on a national level, and supported a growth in apprenticeships. But structures have held Wales back from being able to be as flexible as we need to be in order to deliver a seamless post-compulsory education and training system that works for learners, employers and entrepreneurs at all levels.

“As this report points out, a number of issues need to be addressed on a strategic level in order to move to a more efficient, effective and above all a sustainable system. This report gives us an opportunity, immediately within the next Assembly session, to address the inherent structural weakness of the current planning and resourcing systems.

“We look forward to working with the new Welsh Government and Assembly early in its new term in exploring the issues and recommendations raised in the report and in particular at how the current statutory and strategic functions currently vested in the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and other bodies can be discharged alongside a clearer strategic role.”

Peter Rees, Executive Chair of NTfW said: “NTfW has previously called for a review of all post-compulsory education and we are pleased to see that the Hazelkorn report looks to set us on the journey to a more responsive education system. Our economy needs an education system that recognises that learning part time and in the workplace can be just as educationally challenging as learning academic subjects in a classroom. Work-based learning is equally suited to more able and talented learners.

“We look forward to working with the new Welsh Government and Assembly in exploring the issues and recommendations raised in the report.”

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