The Welsh Government has announced a new innovation fund that will support further education colleges as they look for new ways to support learners.
Projects aiming to give support to learners as they try to develop new skills, as well as focusing on wellbeing, resilience and adaptability. This will be done through the allocation of £5 million to the Innovation Fund, with creative solutions at the heart, so that colleges can be encouraged to explore new ways of working to make sue that Wales is able to provide anybody with a high-quality education.
The success of this push is evidenced through already-successful initiatives such as Junior Apprenticeships, Employment Bureaus and Accelerated Learning programmes. These are to be expanded on with the fund.
Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:
“The cost of living crisis 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.”
The Minister has also increased funding to further education colleges so that the can be supported with rising costs. The increased costs of consumable materials such as wood and steel, crucial to vocational courses like construction, means that over £2.5 million will be allocated to colleges.