Attending and Presenting at the FE Skills at Work Exhibition30-June-2017
On 29th June, we exhibited at the Senedd showcasing the variety of learning options available at Wales’ leading Further Education Institutions.
Year six students from Ysgol Pencae in Llandaf, Cardiff; Ysgol Afon Tâf and Troedyrhiw in Merthyr and Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff Bay, were joined by Assembly members and the public to trial activities and the wealth of opportunities available to those post-16 across Wales.
The event was co-ordinated by ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, the charity representing Wales’ 14 further education colleges and institutions, which raises the profile of further education among decision-makers to improve educational opportunities in Wales. Guests enjoyed refreshing mocktails with Coleg y Cymoedd and took part in bricklaying, pottery, woodwork and pyrography (burning on timber) and virtual reality activities as well as hair and beauty taster sessions with The College, Merthyr Tydfil.
Speakers at the event included Alys Evans, an award-winning Level 3 Patisserie and Confection student and Dave Vaughan, founder of "Dave’s Quails" and a former NPTC Group college student.
Our own Scott Jenkinson also spoke at the event recalling how education helped turn his life around from drug and alcohol addiction to learning with us at Coleg Harlech for a Certificate Diploma in Social Sciences before later progressing to a Psychology and Criminology degree at Bangor University. Scott spoke of the “invaluable support” he has received from Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales. (You’re welcome Scott).
Event sponsor Llyr Gruffydd AM said, “Further Education is a sector we must not only support but must strengthen. The danger is that we sometimes take the sector for granted and that we just presume that it’s there and that it’s carrying on its good work. We don’t always appreciate the breadth of opportunities that it offers us as young people and adults as well – so graphically demonstrated in events like this one today. Let’s make sure that we nail the message that Further Education has a key central role to play in the future for our country, our young people, our adults, our economy and every other sector as well.”
Iestyn Davies, CEO of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales concluded:“We’ve talked about the power of education to transform and provide second chance opportunities. Today has been about ensuring that today’s young and adult learners have the opportunity in five or ten years’ time to study within the FE sector.
“It’s really concerning to me at this point in time that there is no long-term plan in further education or no detailed roadmap for how we go from what we’ve got today to what we need for the future to make sure our young people and adult learners have the skills that business needs and that society so demands for the 21st Century. It’s been a great day, but there is still so much more that needs to be done.”
Lucy Wood, one of the teachers in attendance said: “It’s been a great event and helpful in presenting an idea of what choices exist and has supported understanding of what’s available in order to move on. Today’s demonstrations have illustrated the wealth of appealing careers and training options available.”
AM’s and members of the public alike also stopped by our stand to chat and learn about woodworking skills and pyography, ably demonstrated by our Unit 10 voluneteer, Derek Edwards.
A big 'Thank you' to Derek for his demonstrations and the displayed exhibits.