An ambitious 10-year plan to transform Wales into a “highly-skilled nation” has been launched by the Welsh government.
Ministers in Cardiff Bay said they want to create a more “integrated, streamlined and simplified” skills system that reduces competition and makes the most of funding.
Their plan, which has been developed with FE colleges and other organisations, is designed to make it easier for individuals and employers to access skills support, but it also wants employers to take more responsibility for the training their staff.
Deputy minister for skills Ken Skates (pictured) said Wales needed a “step-change” in the way it approaches the issue.
“Our economy is changing and if we’re to attract the more high skilled jobs we need to see we need to take action now,” he said.
“This means addressing the skills not only of people who are in the workplace but people who are unemployed and young people who will soon be entering the labour market. We also need to address the skills gaps that exist in our workforce.”
John Graystone, chief Executive of ColegauCymru, the body which represents all of Wales’s FE colleges, welcomed the statement.
Some three quarters of funded vocational and technical education in Wales is provided by FE colleges, both on campus and in the workplace.
“Wales faces a big skills challenge,” said Mr Graystone. “Sustained public and private investment in skills are essential in enabling Wales to rebuild its industries and promote social justice. Colleges will work closely with government, employers and to ensure that this challenge is met.”