Politicians and policy makers from as far away as Yemen and Ethiopia are visiting Wales to find out about the Welsh skills sector.
They will be attending the UK’s National Skills Strategy seminar (12 to 15 January), which will include presentations from Welsh education and business experts.
Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology will address the conference, explaining to delegates the Welsh Government’s role in supporting technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Wales.
The Deputy Minister will tell delegates: “One of the biggest challenges we face as a Welsh Government is ensuring that Wales’ young people have the right skills to ensure that they can maximise their employment prospects.
“Given the current economic conditions, we cannot continue to be the primary source of funding for skills training. As we have indicated in our new Skills Strategy, we have to share this responsibility, between the Welsh Government, employers and individuals.
“There are over 400,000 young people in Wales and I want every one of them to have the support they need to progress through education and training into employment.”
Conference delegates will include the Ethiopian state minister for education and the Egyptian deputy minister for vocational education.
The conference is organised by the British Council and is one of a series that will be held in the UK’s four home nation capitals. The event is being hosted by Cardiff and the Vale College and the delegates will be visiting the college’s International Centre for Aerospace Training (ICAT) at Cardiff Airport. They will also visit Coleg y Cymoedd in Nantgarw.
Greg Walker, chief executive of Colleges Wales will talk about the Welsh further education system. Sarah Hopkins of Wales and West Utilities will give the employers’ view of TVET and Rhys Williams and Louise Burnell from GE Aviation Wales will talk about the role of apprenticeships in Welsh business.
The delegates will also hear from Sarah Finnegan-Dehn, regional director of Careers Wales and Ciarán Devane the British Council’s new chief executive will make one of his first appearances for the organisation and will explain the organisation’s TVET work.
Lin Howells, assistant director of Estyn and Rob Evans, vice principal of Bridgend College and chair of the All Wales Further Education quality assurance group will talk about the importance of high quality provision in TVET.
Jenny Scott, director of British Council Wales, said: “This is the first time the British Council has held one of its international skills conferences in Wales. It’s a chance to showcase the best of the Welsh skills sector and is a testament to the work being done in the sector by Welsh Government, our further education colleges and Welsh business. We’re sure the delegates will take many inspiring ideas from Wales back to their own countries.”
Mike James, principal and chief executive of Cardiff and Vale College, said: "We are absolutely honoured and delighted to host the first British Council internal skills conference to be held in Wales. CAVC is committed to its international work as it is a key growth area for the College and this conference represents a fantastic opportunity for the Welsh further education sector to demonstrate the unique learning opportunities and experiences we have to offer."