We will conduct an urgent Ministerial review of post 16 provision, put in place systems to end needless competition in post 16 education, and place vocational education on the same foundations as academic learning in school and university.
We support the professionalisation of the FE workforce. By using existing legislation we can set professional standards and minimum requirements of qualification for FE teachers. Keeping and attracting the best dual profession lecturers in the classroom will be a priority.
We will implement the recommendations of the 2020 ColegauCymru report Further Education and Building Better on vocational education. Wales’s network of Further Education Colleges will be made community hubs for collaboration with businesses and local authorities to create more coherent local labour markets. A priority will be to enhance workforce skills and qualifications in relation to foundation activities in the care, construction and agriculture sectors.
We will establish Institutes of Technology on existing FE sites. This will strengthen collaboration between business and further education institutes, support the practical application of innovation and new technology, and strengthen supply chains between SMEs and anchor companies.
In addition, we will:
- Ensure Wales joins the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills, the PIAAC, and set goals as exacting as we do for schools in the context of PISA.
- Increase the cash value of the Educational Maintenance Allowance to £45 a week and Welsh Government Learning Grant for FE students to £2,350 a year – restoring them to their mid-2000s levels. We will raise the eligibility threshold for Education Maintenance Allowance and Welsh Government Learning Grant so that no young person in poverty misses out.