At the Senedd this week, five FE colleges and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David have launched a new network of Higher Technical Institutes to tackle under performance in Wales’ labour market.
As the economy of Wales recovers post pandemic, and as employees struggle with the cost-of-living crisis, the partnership will utilise the powers of the University of Wales to bring together the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and its constituent colleges, Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, as well as the CAVC Group, NPTC Group of Colleges, and Pembrokeshire College to formalise the network.
The launch was attended by Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS.
Jeremy Miles, said: “I welcome this example of collaborative working between FE and HE institutions to strengthen the delivery of higher technical education, innovation and applied research.
“I am committed to ensuring we do everything we can to provide higher-level skills to learners across the entire tertiary education sector. This exciting new partnership demonstrates just what providers from across the sector can achieve when they work together.”
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor, commented: “We are responding to the Welsh Government and the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act. The recent research evidence clearly shows the urgent need to reform the provision of higher-level skills and our commitment as a network to play our part in this process.”
The partnership will establish a network of University of Wales Technical Institutes to deliver a programme of higher technical qualifications across economic and social priority sectors driven by employer need. It will provide opportunities for higher learning closer to home and for a strengthened ‘earn as you learn’ proposition through part time study and apprenticeships.
Pembrokeshire College Principal, Dr Barry Walters commented: “Pembrokeshire College is delighted to be further strengthening its collaborative working with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David which will enable local people to upskill across a broad range of disciplines. With the potential demand for higher level technical skills from the evolving developments locally on the Haven, this collaboration also offers our learners access to provision which will equip them for the emerging jobs opportunities in the Renewable Energy sector.”
Following the event, Iestyn Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, said: “We’re delighted to launch the University of Wales Technical Institutes today and I’d like to thank everybody that has contributed to the work thus far. There is a need for more graduate level skills delivered in a way that fits with the real lives of our citizens and we can now look forward to developing a new way of delivering, and ultimately funding and regulating, the delivery of Higher-Level skills.”
The event was sponsored by Elin Jones MS, the Presiding Officer and included an introduction to the network by Mike James, Chief Executive, CAVC Group on behalf of the FE partners. Mike James said: “Each of our colleges has built strong partnerships with universities in Wales and we are committed to continuing this. This exciting new partnership offers a cohesive, dual-sector built on genuine partnership and cooperation.”