New university and college partnership to empower learners and employers to access higher technical skills across Wales
Further and Higher education partnership to transform vocational training as report reveals the inactive Welsh labour market.
Five further education colleges and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David will today launch a new network of Higher Technical Institutes to tackle under performance in Wales’ labour market.
The launch comes as a detailed analysis of recent labour market intelligence reveals that is 40 per cent less active than the UK average with median advertised salaries in Wales 13 per cent below the UK average.
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.
Ahead of the launch, which will include a response from the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, 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.
Dr Andrew Cornish, principal and CEO of Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion said: “The launch of the University of Wales Technical Institutes provides a real opportunity to develop high level technical qualifications and training that meet the needs of employers.
“Working within a confederal structure, further education colleges and the university will now have a vehicle to deliver the high level vocational skills that will drive the economy of Wales forward.
“This model, together with the advent of the Commission of Tertiary Education and Research makes this an exciting time to be working in the post-16 sector and more importantly will provide opportunities for learners and employees of all ages to attain the skills they need to thrive in an ever-changing world.”
Global Labour Market analysts Lightcast undertook its analysis during late 2022. It identified that the Welsh labour market tends to be 40 per cent less active than the UK, suggesting employers may be finding it harder to fill vacancies. It noted that the median advertised salaries in Wales are 13 per cent below the UK average. The report noted that graduate recruitment market in Wales is 25 per cent more active than the Welsh average.
Responding to the report, Iestyn Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, said:
“This report gives us a vital insight into the current labour market in Wales calling for a new way of delivering and ultimately funding and regulating the delivery of Higher-Level skills. There is a need for more graduate level skills delivered in a way that fits with the real lives of our citizens.”
The event will be sponsored by Elin Jones MS, the Presiding Officer and will include an introduction to the network by Mike James, Chief Executive, CAVC Group on behalf of the FE partners. Speaking ahead of the event 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.”
Notes to Editors:
The University of Wales Trinity Saint David commissioned Lightcast to provide insights into the current labour market in Wales. Lightcast is a recognised international consultancy on jobs, skills, workforce talent, and labour market dynamics, and in particular the role of Higher and Further Education. The company utilises a combination of data from official statistics and insights from Lightcast’s online job postings library, with over 80 million unique job postings collected in the UK since 2012, the report found that:
- During 2022, approximately 300,000 job postings were posted online in the Welsh labour market – an increase of 30 per cent compared to 2021.
- Despite this the Welsh labour market tends to be 40 per cent less active than the UK one. While job postings tend to stay online on average one day longer than the UK overall – suggesting employers may be finding it harder to fill these positions – the median advertised salaries in Wales are 13 per cent below the UK average.
- Of the 300,000 job postings posted online in the Welsh labour market in 2022, just over 130,000 were for graduate related occupations. Overall, the graduate recruitment market in Wales is 25 per cent more active than the Welsh average.
Press release by University of Wales Trinity Saint David