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Welsh to bid for training contracts

Colleges will bid for contracts worth more than pound;100 million to provide work-based training for 35,000 apprentices in Wales.

For the first time, Education and Learning Wales (ELWa) has put the contracts out for tender. It is now inviting 126 colleges and training companies to bid for projects to boost workplace learning across the country.

A unit price has been fixed for training delivered across the Welsh regions.

ELWa will award the contracts to those organisations which it believes will offer the best training for the price.

The tendering process will entitle ELWa to bid for an extra pound;50m in funding from the European Social Fund to boost work-related learning in Wales over the next three years.

A successful bid to the European fund would mean that some 10,000 more teenagers and adult workers would benefit from skills programmes including modern apprenticeships, foundation apprenticeships and skills diplomas.

Extra funding from the ESF would also help more unemployed adults to get the training they need to return to work.

Richard Hart, ELWa's interim director of learning, said: "This whole tendering exercise is a major milestone in the transition from an outdated approach to a new system which is better able to meet the skills needs of individuals and businesses and achieve best value for taxpayers' money."

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