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Education and Learning Wales becomes reality


With all the news about the Learning and Skills Council, it's easy to overlook the fact that big changes are also afoot in Wales.

The LSC's equivalent in Wales, Education and Learning Wales (ELWa), officially began operation on Sunday (1 April). The Welsh Council actually has a wider remit than that of its English cousin, as it embraces the work of both the new National Council for Education and Training for Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), giving it responsibility for all post-16 learning in Wales.

This is because the chief executive of the National Council for Education and Training for Wales (CETW) is also the chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).

Announcing the launch, Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning said: "With ELWa taking on its full responsibilities from 1st April, the challenge for everyone now is to work with the new organisation so that we can increase the prospects of individuals and the prosperity of Wales as a whole. Our success as a nation will depend on lifelong learning and those who take up the opportunities presented to them. Only through increasing the skills levels of all our people and meeting the learning needs of our customers and businesses alike will we be able to compete in the global economy at levels we will all be proud of".

Concluding her speech, the Minister gave praise to the many individuals and organisations that have been involved in the creation of ELWa.

"We have travelled a long way over the last year in order to reach this occasion today. It is a testament to the many organisations and individuals alike that have contributed their time and considerable effort to these new post-16 lifelong learning arrangements. I wish to place on record my thanks to one and all. My best wishes extend to those who are moving on; I rest assured in the knowledge that this considerable expertise remains available to Wales."

Enid Rowlands, Chairman of the National Council – ELWa said, "The Assembly intends that the creation of this new organisation will have a major positive impact on Wales. We believe it is right that it should be launched within a community, signifying the new approach to learning and skills which will be at the heart of our work."

ELWa will operate through four regional committees which are currently recruiting for members. For more details, contact Jo Evans at ELWa Mid Wales on 01686 620200 before 20 April.


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