ColegauCymru / CollegesWales' mission is to raise the profile of further education with key decision-makers to improve opportunities for learners in Wales.
In so doing, we:
ColegauCymru represents colleges to decision makers and their influencers on policy issues that affect post-16 education and training, including the links between education and the economy, health and wellbeing. We intend to be constructive in our ideas, suggesting solutions wherever possible, and being open to change which results in improvements.
Education matters are largely devolved, therefore most of our policy and advocacy related work is focused on the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales.
In addition to meeting Government Ministers and their officials on a regular basis, ColegauCymru also meets and briefs relevant political party spokespeople and members of key Assembly committees.
We develop and promote policy responses to key issues, publish policy statements, take an active role in Assembly scrutiny committees' calls for evidence and consultations by a range of organisations, and represent the sector on key committees, task & finish and advisory groups.
Current research includes work on the economic impact of colleges; scoping the potential for a Master Crafts designation for vocationally expert managers in industry; SMEs’ skills utilisation in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors; developing suggestions for an improved quality assessment regime for higher education in colleges; and considering the impact of the three regional skills plans on poverty, economic growth and resilience.
ColegauCymru / CollegesWales leads and/or actively supports initiatives and campaigns that promote and demonstrate the value of vocational skills, including Skills Competition Wales, WorldSkills UK and VQ Day - in partnership with other organisations.
ColegauCymru / CollegesWales has also led and/or taken an active role in other campaigns over the years, including:
CollegesWales provides a range of professional services to its members. It also extends a number of its services to non-members in the post-16 education and training sector.
In particular, we:
Between 2003 and 2016, ColegauCymru provided numerous professional development opportunities for staff colleges, including the popular Masters program in Leadership and Management (FE), and Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Management. These programmes are no longer open to new enrolments, but current candidates will be supported until their graduation.
Masters in Leadership and Management (FE)
From 2003-2016, the University of South Wales, in partnership with ColegauCymru, offered a development programme at postgraduate level aimed at middle and senior management within the FE and HE sectors as well as the wider learning and skills sector. The program was based on the National Occupational Standards published by LLUK.
Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Management
This Level 7 course started in September 2010 and came to an end in 2016. It was delivered by ColegauCymru in conjunction with the University of South Wales. The course was developed to improve the performance of managers and first time line managers.
ColegauCymru organises and supports opportunities for college staff to undertake overseas study visits focusing on improving quality and innovation, job shadowing with international counterparts, and developing strategic partnerships with international partners.
We also help college students and apprentices to broaden their horizons through coordinating a programme of work placements overseas and cultural exchanges.
In addition, ColegauCymru is Wales' lead contact point for the coordination of a range of European qualifications programmes on behalf of the Welsh Government.
In partnership with Sport Wales, ColegauCymru / CollegesWales is the lead organisation for sport in further education colleges in Wales, raising the profile of sport, physical activity and volunteering through college projects and promoting elite college sport.
Key priorities for development:
On behalf of the Welsh Government, ColegauCymru is Wales' lead contact point for the coordination of a range of European programmes that help learners, workers, employers, colleges, universities and careers advisors understand how skills and qualifications are recognised across Europe.
Together, these initiatives:
In preparing the way for Wales' new qualifications, ColegauCymru was contracted by the Welsh Government to:
ColegauCymru's Digital Literacy Practitioners' Programme (on ColegauCymru's Moodle)
Post-16 Qualifications: GCSE CPD Programme (on ColegauCymru's Moodle)
Previously, ColegauCymru / CollegesWales also:
Review of Qualifications (Welsh Government site)
Having previously revised the Safe Learning Communities Guidance and Self-Assessment Toolkit with Estyn and FE partners, ColegauCymru is now working with the Home Office’s HE and FE Prevent Coordinator for Wales to deliver training to key staff on the ‘Prevent Duty’ (introduced in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) in order to help prevent people in further education institutions and independent training providers from being drawn into terrorism.
ColegauCymru was the Wales manager of the Money for Life – a UK-wide initiative by Lloyds Banking Group (2012-2015) that trained young people’s advisors, mentors and tutors on financial inclusion matters and which coordinated a high profile UK-wide annual money management competition for young people aged 16-25. This programme has now come to an end, but a number of projects live on in local communities - a legacy of its success.
CollegesWales is led by its members - FE colleges across Wales.