ColegauCymru in Seattle for Skills visit

This weekend ColegauCymru is heading to Seattle with other Further Education institutions as part of a groundbreaking first trip to the city by the sector in Wales. ColegauCymru has secured funding from British Council Wales to enable the delegation from Wales’ Further Education colleges to visit educational and business organisations.

As the Seattle based global digital company Amazon announces 5,000 new jobs in the UK, the delegation will visit Amazon premises to share best practice in developing employer-led skills provision. It will explore how a major metropolitan area like Seattle has shaped a diverse, balanced economy and what the future has in store as technology constantly evolves.

ColegauCymru will be supporting staff from Coleg Sir Gâr, Cardiff and Vale College, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Coleg Cambria and Bridgend College. FE staff from across Wales were invited to submit an application to join the trip, in what proved to be a highly competitive process. The study visit, which is a part of ColegauCymru’s development programme, is the latest opportunity for FE leaders to experience different approaches to developing vocational education and training. Previous visits facilitated by funding secured by ColegauCymru have included Finland, Canada, the Basque Country and Germany, with further opportunities planned in coming months.

The delegation will be blogging daily while they are on the trip and they can be followed on Twitter by checking the hashtag #InnovateFE.

Iestyn Davies, CEO of ColegauCymru, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the FE sector in Wales to identify the key policy elements of Seattle’s education system, particularly in relation to skills and vocational education and training (VET). Once we’re back in Wales, we’ll be reporting on the lessons we’ve learnt and how we can best influence policy to make positive changes for learners, colleges and employers.”

Chris Lewis, Head of Education at British Council Wales, said: 'We want the whole education sector in Wales to be internationally inspired and globally connected. This visit to Seattle will expose the participating colleges to some of the very best international practices and help the vocational sector in Wales to form lasting professional connections in the United States.”