Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Education

Apprenticeships on the agenda

Published

on

‘Wales needs a robust skills and training framework’: William Graham, AM

‘Wales needs a robust skills and training framework’: William
Graham, AM

DEPUTY MINISTER Julie James has welcomed the findings of an Estyn report highlighting success in addressing diversity and equality in the training of apprenticeships. Ms James committed the Welsh Government to sharing the best practice identified in the report among providers of Work Based Learning.
Ms James said: “We are hugely proud of our Apprenticeship programme here in Wales which is providing individuals with the opportunity to develop valuable skills and ensuring our future workforce is equipped with the tools to prosper in the economy of the future.
“We are committed though, to ensuring that everyone is able to experience the many benefits that apprenticeships have to offer, regardless of their background which is why we commissioned this report by Estyn.
“We welcome Estyn’s report which is broadly positive and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure the recommendations are addressed.
“We will now press ahead with sharing good practice models on recruitment and continue to demonstrate the positive benefits to employers of having a more inclusive and diverse workforce”.
The minister also set out the Welsh Government’s future plans for apprenticeships during a keynote speech at the National Training Federation for Wales’ annual conference.
The plans include a focussed drive on increasing the number of sixteen to eighteen year olds starting apprenticeships, a keener emphasis on higher skilled apprenticeships, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector and better links between Further Education programmes and Apprenticeships.
The Deputy Minister also confirmed the UK Government’s introduction of an apprenticeship levy across the UK has influenced the Welsh Government’s decision to defer publication of an implementation plan for apprenticeships in Wales.
The apprenticeship levy, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a levy to be paid across the UK by all large employers including the public sector.
The Deputy Minister said: “We have developed an apprenticeships system that is well respected by employers, which offers the very best quality and the very best training. However, as our recent apprenticeship consultation revealed, there are areas where we can improve.
“There are too few sixteen to eighteen year olds starting apprenticeships. This has to change and that’s why we intend to re-focus our Young Recruits Programme to support additional sixteen to seventeen year old recruitment. Once we have put in place new plans for this age group, we would expect to see an increase to the six and half thousand places the network usually delivers.
“Many of our apprenticeships are also in sectors where the skills content is relatively low. This exacerbates the perception that apprenticeships are for those young people who are not capable of higher level skills.
“We must continue to grow apprenticeships in priority sectors and stretch them to meet emerging skill shortages in technical and highly skilled occupations, such as engineering and IT that will drive productivity.
“We have agreed to fund certain prescribed higher education qualifications when undertaken as part of a published Higher Apprenticeship framework. This will provide an additional stimulus to the employer market to kick start delivery in STEM related Higher Apprenticeships.
On the Welsh Government’s decision to defer publication of an implementation plan for apprenticeships in Wales the Deputy Minister said: “I am entirely supportive of the principle that employers should contribute towards the costs of apprenticeships. However, the levy proposals have been designed without consideration of the implications for the whole of the UK and encroach upon Wales’ devolved responsibilities.
“For all large employers in Wales the levy represents an additional tax burden. Up until now the UK Government has not provided any information on the potential impact on the Welsh budget, so at this point in time I’m unable to provide any assurances to employers.
“But what is clear about the levy is that it impedes our ability to craft our own policy. This is why I am deferring publication of an implementation plan for apprenticeships in Wales until more is known.”
The Welsh Conservatives have launched their own plan for apprenticeships, ‘Stronger Futures Cymru’, which they say would boost access and prioritise job creation for anyone of working age.
Accepting that apprenticeships and job-based learning play a vital role in developing an individual’s skills for the future whilst simultaneously helping businesses expand, the Welsh Conservatives say they would scrap the age cap and extend job duration, Introduce greater apprenticeship flexibility and boost promotion, and strengthen the ties between education, employment and the local business community. The Welsh Conservatives have suggested that the local business community could participate on school governing panels to advise on how best to integrate “work ready” skills into the curriculum.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, William Graham, said: “Stronger Futures Cymru is an ambitious vision for apprenticeships in Wales and will help to ensure that Wales has a workforce equipped with the skills they need to drive the economy forward.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Education

Industry collaboration will give local stuidents ‘head start’ in clean energy jobs market

Published

on

A NEW course preparing students for the future renewables’ jobs market has been launched by Pembrokeshire College. Two global renewable energy companies – EDF Renewables UK and DP Energy – have joined forces with Pembrokeshire College and designed a course to raise awareness, transfer real-world sector knowledge, and inform career journeys for 16-18 year olds.

The 2-year course – Destination Renewables – will educate learners about renewable energy technologies,​ including wave, tidal, onshore wind, solar and offshore wind and associated project development processes. This collaboration with industry will help to bridge the skills gap and showcase the diverse range of careers within the sector, all the while supporting net zero targets and maximising regional benefits.

Pembrokeshire is already a centre for energy, having played host to established technologies such as gas and petrochemicals, and is now providing a home for emerging sectors in renewables. EDF Renewables UK and DP Energy are themselves developing Gwynt Glas, up to 1 GW of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea, off the coast of Pembrokeshire.

Nancy McLean of EDF Renewables UK who is leading the Gwynt Glas project, said: “With an increasing focus on tackling climate change and securing energy supplies, renewable technologies have to be developed and rolled out quickly, and we need to build a skilled workforce to deliver our plans. The partnership with Pembrokeshire College helps us to develop homegrown talent and meets the Welsh Government’s aspirations to develop green skills to achieve net zero. In addition to developing the Gwynt Glas floating offshore wind project, EDF Renewables UK is investing in onshore wind, solar, and battery projects right across Wales, so future career opportunities are plentiful.”

Chris Williams, Head of Development UK and New Markets at DP Energy, said: “There is a wealth of renewables expertise in the County, which is one of the reasons why we recently opened our UK headquarters here in Pembroke Dock. By introducing learners to the many career pathways within renewables we believe we can build the workforce needed to support projects like Gwynt Glas and DP Energy’s wider ambitions in Wales including tidal, onshore wind, solar, batteries and hydrogen. Having this skill base is crucial for Wales to maintain its position as a leader in renewable energy generation and technology development and is knowledge that can be exported across the world.”

Pembrokeshire College is the County’s largest provider of post-16 education and Head of Engineering, Arwyn Williams, said: “The College is delighted to be working so closely with industry to develop the talents needed for future careers in a sector that is so important to all our lives, and one which already has an established home right here in Pembrokeshire. Like our delivery partners – EDF Renewables UK and DP Energy – we are keen to maximise the regional benefits that renewables projects can bring, and we will focus our efforts on developing a skilled local labour force to work across all disciplines.”

Destination Renewables is underpinned by the Skills and Talent programme of the Swansea Bay City Deal, jointly funded by the Welsh and UK Governments, alongside private sector investment. Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum will support the renewables industry in the delivery of this private sector and education partnership to manage high-quality industry content standards and ensure a positive learner journey.

Continue Reading

Education

Finalists revealed in the Professional Teaching Awards Cymru

Published

on

THIS WEEK, 29 education professionals from across Wales have been revealed as finalists of the fifth Professional Teaching Awards Cymru.

The awards celebrate inspiring education professionals across Wales. Pupils, colleagues, and parents have nominated the extraordinary education professionals in their lives, and the nominees have now been shortlisted to 29 finalists across ten categories.

The nominees in South West Wales include:

Laura Buffee (Haverfordwest High VC School, Haverfordwest) for the Pupil (or Pupils’) Award for Best Teacher

Iona Llyr (Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth, Llanelli) for Inspirational Use of the Welsh Language

Pembroke Dock Primary School (Pembroke Dock) for the Betty Campbell MBE award for promoting the contributions and perspectives of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities’ – a new category for this year.

The Pupil (or Pupils’) Award for Best Teacher is given to those nominated by pupils – past or present – who feel they have made a huge difference to their life in school.

The award for ‘Inspirational Use of the Welsh Language’ is for education professionals who have inspired pupils and colleagues to use and enjoy the Welsh language.

‘The Betty Campbell MBE Award’ has been named after Wales’ first black headteacher, and recognises an individual, team or school that has demonstrated an outstanding awareness of the importance of an inclusive education in their classroom.

The new award has been welcomed by Betty’s daughter, Elaine Clarke, who said: “The Award is a wonderful way to promote inclusion of all Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and we are sure the recipients will continue to be inspired and develop future generations in the footsteps of our mother.”

The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “The calibre of this year’s nominations has, as ever, been outstanding. They demonstrate the breadth of inspiring education professionals we have here in Wales and it’s important we recognise that.’

“We have so much good work promoting the contributions and perspectives of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities by schools and educators across Wales, and this is recognised by the new Betty Campbell MBE award.’

“I look forward to celebrating these fantastic individuals who go above and beyond for their profession.”

Continue Reading

Education

Pembrokeshire schools celebrate the great outdoors

Published

on

THE FIRST Outdoor Celebration Day to be held since 2018 was hosted by Pembrokeshire Outdoor School (PODS) at Scolton Manor on Thursday, May 26.

The PODS partnership, which is co-ordinated by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, is a network of specialist organisations, head teachers and local authority advisors. Its aim is to support schools in encouraging children to become fully engaged with and confident in their local environment.

This year’s Outdoor Celebration Day was attended by 130 students from Croesgoch CP School, Gelliswick Church in Wales VC School, Golden Grove School, Johnston CP School, Lamphey School, Neyland Community School, Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, St. Oswald’s VA Primary School and St Marks School.

After introductions and a welcome talk by Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools Co-ordinator Bryony Rees, each school was awarded a Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools award by Tegryn Jones, CEO of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, and Chairman of Pembrokeshire Outdoor Schools, Graham Peake. This was in recognition of their progress and achievements with outdoor learning over the last few years.

Pupils had the chance to participate in workshops in the woods and on the lawn with PODS, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, the Foundation Phase Team at Pembrokeshire County Council, Darwin Centre, Sport Pembrokeshire and Tir Coed. Activities included mini beast hunts, building with natural materials, fire craft, Tree identification, bush craft and commonwealth activity games.

Bryony Rees said: “The event was enjoyed by all, with one pupil commenting that he had the best day in the ‘nature playground’. Representatives from Sustainable Schools, Keep Wales Tidy (Eco-Schools) and the National Trust were also on hand to connect with teachers, share ideas and discuss how outdoor learning in schools could be developed in line with the National Curriculum for Wales.”

Continue Reading

Crime2 days ago

Lola James: Two people have denied charges in connection of the death of 2-year-old

TWO people who have been charged in connection with the death of a Haverfordwest toddler have denied charges. 30-year-old Kyle...

Charity3 days ago

Pembrokeshire charity recruits community fuel champions

PEMBROKESHIRE FRAME has received funding to recruit a community fuel co-ordinator and five volunteer champions as they look to raise...

News5 days ago

Huge crowds in Saundersfoot for fantastic weekend of music and celebrations

THE QUEEN’S Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Saundersfoot were successfully concluded yesterday with a charity band evening. There was a great...

News5 days ago

A477: Police investigating incident where car forced to stop and driver assaulted

OFFICERS in Pembrokeshire are investigating an incident that occurred on the A477 westbound, near the Stepaside turning, at around 1pm...

News1 week ago

Crabb praises cost of living payments as charities say people still can’t make ends meet

426, 000 families in Wales are set to receive a cash payment from July to ease cost of living financial...

News1 week ago

New hospital sites to be reviewed by appraisal group

PEOPLE from communities across the three counties will next week help score five potential sites for a new hospital in...

Crime1 week ago

Attempted murder arrest following incident in Narberth

POLICE have arrested a person for attempted murder following an incident at a residential property in Narberth on Monday (June...

featured1 week ago

Save Withybush Hospital Campaign issues local ‘Call to arms’ ahead of Senedd debate showdown

CAMPAIGNERS determined to save the A&E at Withybush hospital have announced that they will be ramping up efforts to engage...

News1 week ago

Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’

EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’. Giggs stepped...

News2 weeks ago

Public advised to avoid rail travel as biggest strike in 30 years about to start

THE BIGGEST rail strikes in three decades are due to start on Monday night (Jun 20), bar an unlikely late...

Popular This Week