VET Policy Developments

VET Policy Developments

Wales

The information below has been extracted from the 2012 policy report survey circulated to the national steering group. This shows examples of policy developments in line with the short-term deliverables of the Bruges Communiqué.


Pathways to Apprenticeship Programme

A programme that provides low-skilled young people with the qualifications to start an apprenticeship.

The Pathways to Apprenticeship programme has been operational for a few years now. The programme is a one-year full-time Level 2 vocational qualification programme designed to give 16-24 year olds the foundation skills to progress onto and complete a full Apprenticeship with an employer. Level 2 training includes associated essential skills and other relevant accredited vocational qualifications so that they will be eligible for accelerated completion of an Apprenticeship. In 2011, 283 learners took part in the programme with 65% of those successfully gaining an apprenticeship. A further 2000 pre-apprenticeship places was made available from 2011/12.

Visit Welsh Government’s Education and Skills website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Take preventive and remedial measures to maximise the contribution of VET in combating early leaving from education;
  2. Consider specific measures aimed at raising the participation of low-skilled and other “at risk” groups in education and training, including by developing flexible pathways in C-VET and using appropriate guidance and support services.

SkillsCymru

An event to raise awareness and skill levels of VET

Skillscymru was the careers and skills event for everyone from young people to adults in Wales. The event formed part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to raise skill levels throughout Wales in order to increase national competitiveness and success in business. Skillscymru gave young people and adults the chance to discover the huge range of careers, training schemes, educational options and opportunities available to them. Interactive, exciting and fun, it was the perfect place to find out all about skills and careers. In 2010, 115 organisations were involved with the event which attracted 20,765 visitors.

Visit the SkillsCymru website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Organise activities aimed at promoting VET attractiveness and excellence, which may include campaigns and skills competitions
  2. Support activities, which enable young pupils in compulsory education to become acquainted with vocational trades and career possibilities.

2012 Year of the Welsh Apprentice campaign

Campaign to increase apprenticeship starts

The Welsh Government and its work-based learning provider Associated Community Training (ACT) hope that their 2012 Year of the Welsh Apprentice campaign will encourage more employers to take advantage of the funding support from the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund available to recruit and train apprentices.

Visit the Welsh Government’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Organise activities aimed at promoting VET attractiveness and excellence, which may include campaigns and skills competitions
  2. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to maximise work-based learning, including apprenticeships, in order to contribute to increasing the number of apprentices in Europe by 2012.

E-books for FE and Skills

A project run to make flexible learning material available

This project started in 2009 to make freely available to all UK further education colleges a core collection of over 3000 digital vocational textbooks; an additional 60 e-books were added in 2011. JISC Collections has negotiated preferential terms and conditions so that e-books can be used to their full potential, e.g. teachers can use parts of the e-books to populate virtual learning environments, and students can link to textbooks from their e-portfolios. The e-books are device agnostic and can be used on the learners’ personal device, both negating reliance of PCs on campus and encouraging participation. The e-books interface can be personalised by teachers and learners, e.g. include college branding, links to other college resources and is interoperable with screen reading software. The initiative has been a catalyst for technological change in the sector, as more colleges have started to use the books, encouraging teachers to use digital resources and colleges to enable off campus access to college learning systems. More than 3000 digital vocational e-books were made available in the first two stages. A further stage was started early in 2012 to extend availability to learners in Work Based Learning (outside FE colleges) who have an even greater need for the flexibility provided by e-books, including the ability to access them and study whenever and wherever they happen to be, and integrate study into busy lives. In addition, e-Books offer a number of advantages for learners with disabilities including portability and the ability to change font size, colour and text-to-speech options. As the project has advanced, some publishers have welcomed the support of JISC TechDis in helping them design full accessibility into their digital publications from the outset. The opportunity is now being taken by some to build in “Voice”, embedding audio delivery in from the outset.

Visit the JISC Collections website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Encourage effective and innovative. Quality-assured use of technology by all VET providers (including public-private networking and partnerships) supported by the necessary equipment, infrastructure and networks, with continuing improvements that reflect developments in technology and pedagogical understanding;
  2. Use ICT to maximise access to training and to promote active learning, as well as to develop new methods in both work- and school-based VET, in order to facilitate the participation of “at risk” groups.

Skills Growth Wales scheme

Providing funding and advice to companies regarding relevant workforce training

Skills Growth Wales (SGW) was launched specifically to stimulate economic growth. It aims to support 200 companies achieve their growth plans and therefore support the creation of 3,000 jobs, whilst up skilling the Welsh workforce by providing funding to train approximately 12,000 employees. Companies will be able to access funding up to an average of £2,500 per individual for training that will directly help bring about the growth. All companies accessing SGW will be supported by Workforce Development Advisors. The advisor will assist them in identifying training provision that provides best quality and value for money. They will help the company develop a training plan, evaluate the quality and impact of the training delivered and undertake a review of the benefits and impacts of the company’s participation in SGW. The existing scheme, which supported 96 companies to train over 8,600 employees, closed to new applications at the end of March 2011, when all available funding had been committed. It reopened again in January 2012 following continued calls from businesses and representative bodies.

Visit the Welsh Government’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Encourage partnerships for creativity and innovation (VET providers, higher education institutions, and design, art, research and innovation centres);
  2. Set up structured cooperation mechanisms between VET sector and employment services at all levels (policy and implementation), including the social partners.

Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy (YES) Wales

The strategy which aims to encourage entrepreneurial behaviours among young people

YES is in line with the Programme for Government commitments to promote economic growth and provide jobs for young people. The vision of the strategy is to develop and nurture self sufficient, entrepreneurial young people in all communities across Wales, who will contribute positively to economic and social success. YES seeks to: embed a culture of entrepreneurship in Wales, increase the number of small firms being created in Wales to help build a more enterprising private sector and encourage more young people to gain the skills required to develop Wales’ potential for economic growth. The YES Action plan outlines measures for the main audiences: young people, education, business and the community; within three action areas. The strategy aims to promote the value of entrepreneurship to create opportunities and develop young people; provide young people with entrepreneurial learning opportunities and support them in creating and growing businesses. YES has directed the development of new and exciting entrepreneurship material for the curriculum, brought entrepreneurs into the classroom and supported graduate businesses. As a result of the strategy, more young people in Wales consider setting up their own businesses and the proportion actually doing so is significantly greater than the UK average (2010).

Visit the Welsh Government’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverable:

  1. Take measures to promote entrepreneurship, e.g. by promoting the acquisition of relevant key competences, enabling practical experiences in enterprises, and involving experts from businesses.
  2. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to:
    A. maximise work-based learning, including apprenticeships, in order to contribute to increasing the number of apprentices in Europe by 2012;
    B. create opportunities for enhanced cooperation between VET institutions and enterprises (profit and non-profit), for example through traineeship for teachers in enterprises;

Apprenticeship Matching Service

Finds apprenticeship opportunities for individuals and allows enterprises to advertise vacancies in one central place.

The Apprenticeship Matching Service is a Welsh Government initiative hosted on Careers Wales' website that helps employers find suitable apprentices and young people to search and apply online for Foundation Apprenticeships, Apprenticeships and Higher Apprenticeships vacancies.

Visit the Careers Wales website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverable:

  1. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to maximise work-based learning, including apprenticeships, in order to contribute to increasing the number of apprentices in Europe by 2012;

Young Recruits Programme

Increasing the number of apprenticeship starts.

The Young Recruits Programme is an all Wales programme that provides a wage subsidy to employers offering high quality apprenticeship programmes to recruit and train additional young apprentices (16-24 year olds).

Visit the Welsh Government’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverable:

  1. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to maximise work-based learning, including apprenticeships, in order to contribute to increasing the number of apprentices in Europe by 2012;

Data matching exercise

Aiming to determine the succsess rate of training in terms of employability

£12,000 has been allocated to undertake an initial data matching exercise to match Lifelong Learning Wales Record (LLWR) data to Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) records. A further £25,000 for an additional project is underway to research destinations of students leaving Further Education.

Visit the Welsh Government’s website for further information.

This initiative relates to short-term deliverables:

  1. Governments, social partners and VET providers should make the necessary arrangements to provide VET institutions with feedback on the employability of VET graduates;
  2. Pursue work on setting-up monitoring systems on transitions from learning to work;
  3. Use existing monitoring systems to support the participation of “at risk” groups.

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