The conference which was chaired by Sarah John, ALS Director and Chair of NTfW, was themed ‘Building a high skilled economy from strong foundations’ and sought to project what the future might look like for work based learning providers across Wales.
The Minister thanked Wales’ training providers for helping the Welsh government remain on target to achieve 100,000 high quality apprenticeship starts during its current term of office (there had been 24,000 new starts in the last year) but challenged them to do even more to boost skills and generate a highly skilled workforce. She also called on training providers to engage with and recruit more disabled people, and increase the number of apprenticeships delivered in the Welsh language.
“Thank you all for the considerable contribution you have made towards lifelong learning in Wales and to help us reach our targets,” she said “Whatever we have been doing up to now needs to be turbo-boosted because the average person is expected to change jobs 12 times in their lifetime, which means that we all have to adapt.”
Sarah John, ALS Director and Chair of NTfW, said it had been an exciting conference with thought-provoking and stressed the importance of the Welsh Government consulting with the NTfW about any new programmes that its members would be asked to deliver.
Other speakers at the conference included; Professor Karel Williams Alliance Manchester Business School, Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, Andrea Melvin, the Welsh Government’s head of work-based learning provision, Dr John Greystone, executive chair of Agored Cymru and Sarah Harris from WJEC, the conference’s premier sponsor.