Securing future of work-based learning in Wales sets conference agenda

Posted on by karen.smith

Securing the future of work-based learning programmes in a time of change is the challenging theme of a major conference in the Welsh capital next month.

National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), which represents more than 100 organisations involved in the delivery of learning in the workplace in Wales, has attracted an impressive list of keynote speakers for the conference at Cardiff City Football Stadium on November 24.

“In a year that has seen unprecedented change at a Wales, UK and European level, one thing for certain is that apprenticeships, and work-based learning programmes more broadly, are firmly cementing themselves as a key driver of economic success for individuals, employers and the wider Welsh economy,” said Sarah John, NTfW board chair.

“As a sector, we have an enviable record of adapting to change to ensure that our programmes and delivery models meet the needs of many. As we look forward to another period of significant change for the work-based learning sector in Wales, it is more important than ever that, as a network, we play a central role and do not simply allow change to happen to us. Moreover, we need to secure our future in a time of change.

“The conference is an absolute must for anyone involved in work-based learning in Wales, who wants to keep up to date with Welsh Government policies. Delegates have a chance to hear leading keynote speakers and attend workshops of particular relevance and interest to the sector, whilst having a prime opportunity to network with individuals and companies across the training sector within Wales.”

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James will be joined on the speaker platform by Sarah John, NUS Wales deputy president Carmen Smith, Alex Rollason from the National Society of Apprentices Wales’ leadership team, Huw Morris, the Welsh Government’s group director of skills, higher education and lifelong learning and Tony Wilson, the Learning and Work Institute’s director of policy and research.

Conference delegates will also have a stimulating selection of workshops to attend during the day. Estyn’s strategic director, Simon Brown will focus on proposed changes to the way education in Wales is inspected from September next year.

The NTfW says the workshop will give work-based learning providers a chance to contribute to Estyn’s consultation phase and prepare for future inspections.

Representatives from awarding organisations in Wales will lead a workshop on significant recent changes to the delivery of revised Essential Skills Wales qualifications, with the aim of making them more trusted and valued by learners and employers.

Alignment of the apprenticeship model to the needs of the Welsh economy will be the subject for Christopher Hare, the Welsh Government’s senior apprenticeships policy manager, while Ryan Evans, the NTfW’s bilingual champion and Richard Evans from the Welsh in Education Branch, will focus on securing the future of Welsh speakers in a time of change.

Hayden Llewellyn, chief executive and Elizabeth Brimble, deputy chief executive of the Education Workforce Council (EWC), will update delegates on the Welsh Government’s drive to require all work-based learning practitioners in Wales to be registered with the EWC from April next year.

Humie Webbe, the NTfW’s equality and diversity champion, will lead a workshop on rising to the challenge of equality and diversity in practice while her colleague, Kelly Edwards, the NTfW’s head of work-based learning quality, will focus on delivering excellence and achieving a high quality work-based learning experience.

Other workshop topics to be covered include moving towards a digital culture, blended learning tools and techniques and learning from and influencing the evaluation process.

Places at the conference may be booked online at at a costs of £195 for NTfW members and
£325 for non-members. Closing date for bookings is Friday, November 4.

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