Essential to promote vocational skills in face of shrinking graduate jobs market, says ColegauCymru/CollegesWales

01/09/2016

Wales’ post 16 education charity ColegauCymru / CollegesWales has today called on the Welsh Government to increase the range of provision in vocational education. The charity was responding to news from the Association of Graduate Recruiters that for the first time in four years, the number of graduate jobs across the UK has fallen. The body which works with all of Wales’ Further Education colleges has called for careers advisors and secondary school teachers to highlight the importance of vocational skills for learners as they make their education choices.

Chief Executive of ColegauCymru / CollegesWales, Iestyn Davies, said: “This report further evidences the need for learners to make informed choices regarding their future employability opportunities as graduate jobs across the UK decrease. Employers are increasingly demanding people with work-ready skills and vocational experience. Progression routes and employment opportunities need to be realised by educators and learners alike.

“The pastoral role of FE colleges and institutions remains crucial in supporting the nature of the changes in the labour market in Wales. Wales’ colleges are responsive to this change in demand and offer high quality vocational and academic opportunities and fit for purpose qualifications. It is essential that the Wales workforce is work ready.

“As elected members return to Cardiff Bay, it is vital that they are all champions for vocational based qualifications as the number of students going to university in Wales increases while the amount of graduate level jobs decreases. This highlights a potentially worrying skills mismatch.”