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£5m earmarked by Welsh Government to invest in Further Education learners

12 Jan 2023 2 minute read
Students at a lecture. Picture by MaxPixel

£5m has been earmarked by the Welsh Government to invest in support for Further Education learners.

The new Innovation Fund will be established to support Further Education colleges and look at new ways to support learners.

The fund will invest in key areas including skill development, wellbeing and resilience and adaptability and encourage FE colleges to explore new ways of working together.

The fund will also look to expand on already successful initiatives such as Junior Apprenticeships, Employment Bureaus and Accelerated Learning.

Alongside this, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles has allocated further funding to FE colleges to help with rising costs.

Financial hardship

Over £2.5m will be used to support learners undertaking vocational programmes by helping colleges to cover the increased costs of consumable materials like wood and steel, critical to vocational courses such as construction.

The Financial Contingency Fund, which supports learners experiencing financial hardship, will also receive a boost of £1.345m.

Learners who might be entitled to this support should get in touch with their college.

Jeremy Miles MS said: “The cost-of-living crisis represents significant challenge to colleges, so we need to look at new ways of working. The Innovation Fund will allow FE providers to consider creative new ways of working and collaborating with others in the sector to benefit learners.

“I look forward to seeing new concepts and I know providers will rise to the challenge.

“Money should never be a barrier to accessing education, which is why I am also pleased to increase funding to the Financial Contingency Fund, which will now be able to assist more learners. This can help with costs like meals, childcare and travel to make sure learners facing low income can keep learning.”

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