Strengthening Adult Learning in Wales - WEA Cymru and YMCA Wales Community College Merge01-August-2015
August 1st 2015 marks the creation of WEA YMCA CC Cymru. The new body will be seeking to strengthen the position of adult learning in Wales.
According to the organisation’s new Chief Executive, Mark Isherwood, “This is a really exciting opportunity for the new organisation to be the foundation on which the future of Adult Learning in Wales is built. With an ageing population, a globalised labour market and new technologies transforming how we live and work, a new approach which empowers every adult to take ownership of their own learning and development is needed. The challenge for the new organisation is to remain high performing, responsive, innovative and financially sustainable.”
WEA YMCA CC Cymru comes as a result of the merger between WEA Cymru and YMCA Wales Community College, forming the largest provider of Adult Learning in Wales. It brings together two high profile and high performing institutions with a national profile.
The body is committed to the provision of educational opportunities for all adults - especially those outside traditional education provision - interested in their own learning and the learning needs of their communities. It provides access to education for adults from all backgrounds but with the focus particularly on those who have missed out on learning or who need a second chance. Classes provide a comfortable, familiar learning environment which appeals to everyone looking to learn new skills, from school leavers to retired people.
Mark Isherwood continued by stating, “The history of the WEA delivering adult community learning and workplace learning to those from all backgrounds in Wales since 1907, and YMCA rooted in traditions for those who do not wish to follow traditional education routes, firmly places the learner at the heart of everything we do. This unique approach and commitment is set to continue and grow, helping to ensure the provision of educational opportunities for all adults now and into the future.”
“By bringing the two organisations together we have a wider curriculum, reaching more communities, enhancing the knowledge and skills of individuals and equipping them to play an active and democratic part in local, national and international communities.”
Mark added, “WEA YMCA CC Cymru provides adult learning to over 20,000 learners, on a part-time basis in the community or through the workplace, in partnership with voluntary organisations, trades unions and employers. We mainly work with those 19+ though we also work with some schools and with young people not in education or employment.”
“We do not have a campus but work with community and specialist organisations to deliver learning in local settings and in venues most appropriate to our learners, actively supporting communities across Wales.”