Training Provider Network Supports Qualifications Review
The publication of the 14-19 Qualifications Review has been welcomed enthusiastically by an organisation that represents workplace learning providers across Wales.
Wynne Roberts, chairman of the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), has praised Huw Evans, chair of review board and his project team, which included the NTfW’s chief executive Arwyn Watkins, for a “thorough, comprehensive and evidence based review”.
The NTfW is a network of 116 quality assured workplace learning providers, which has links to 35,000 employers across Wales. Members range from small specialist training providers to national and international companies, as well as local authorities, Further Education institutions and third sector organisations.
Pledging the NTfW’s wholehearted support, he said: “We believe the review board’s recommendations are timely and have the potential to significantly influence the Welsh skills and employability agenda.
“To date there has been much confusion relating to the relevance and value of the current qualification offer for 14-19 year olds in relation to employment.
“The review board’s recommendations to strengthen the accreditation, approval and regulation of qualifications in Wales, as well as those relating to the differentiation between initial vocational education and training and continuing education and training, are particularly welcomed.
“This is a major step forward in the NTfW’s long running campaign to achieve parity of esteem between vocational and academic qualifications and to introduce a much more balanced approach to education and training. Everyone working in the education and training sector in Wales must share the objective of giving our young people the skills that are relevant to the needs of today’s employers.
“The importance of an effective skills system to underpin economic growth was the focus of the NTfW’s Annual Conference in 2012 last October, where Huw Evans spoke about the themes of the review, whilst obviously not revealing the conclusions.
“He emphasised that the review’s aim was to get qualifications that are understood and meet the needs of young people and the economy. We as a network believe the review board has achieved this objective but it’s now down to all the institutions to work together in collaboration, drawing on our mutual strengths, to deliver for Wales.
“The federation now hopes that Education Minister Leighton Andrews will fully endorse the review board’s recommendations, which are totally focused on skills. These recommendations will provide learners with a clear pathway to progression with no dead ends and prepare them properly for the world of work.
“It’s the NTfW’s priority to support the Welsh Government’s agenda for Growth and Sustainable Jobs. We look forward to studying the report in much more detail and contributing to future discussions, as workplace learning providers will have the key task of delivering these skills solutions for the Welsh Government.”