Our work

ColegauCymru / CollegesWales' mission is to raise the profile of further education with key decision-makers to improve opportunities for learners in Wales.


“Gammon, egg and chips in a pub night after night”- Report on Skills in the Hospitality, Retail and Tourism Sector (HRT)

  1. Main Report

Demonstrating the Economic Value of FE Colleges in Wales - August 2017

  1. Fact Sheet
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Main Report

ColegauCymru represents colleges to decision makers and their influencers on policy issues that affect post-16 education and training, including the links between education and the economy, health and wellbeing. We intend to be constructive in our ideas, suggesting solutions wherever possible, and being open to change which results in improvements.

Education matters are largely devolved, therefore most of our policy and advocacy related work is focused on the Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales.

In addition to meeting Government Ministers and their officials on a regular basis, ColegauCymru also meets and briefs relevant political party spokespeople and members of key Assembly committees.

We develop and promote policy responses to key issues, publish policy statements, take an active role in Assembly scrutiny committees' calls for evidence and consultations by a range of organisations, and represent the sector on key committees, task & finish and advisory groups.

Current research includes work on the economic impact of colleges; scoping the potential for a Master Crafts designation for vocationally expert managers in industry; SMEs’ skills utilisation in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors; developing suggestions for an improved quality assessment regime for higher education in colleges; and considering the impact of the three regional skills plans on poverty, economic growth and resilience.

Key links:

Statements and news

Policies, briefings, consultation responses and publications

Wordpress blog

ColegauCymru's Cross Party Group was set up in September 2017 to hold Chatham House conversations on skills, training and education needs in Wales. The group is Chaired by John Griffiths AM, and supported by Darren Millar AM, Huw Irranca-Davies AM, Vikki Howells AM, and Llyr Gruffydd AM.

26 September 2017 - The Changing Face of FE

  1. FE and Future Skills Cross Party Group (Programme)
  2. Cross Party Group – FE and Future Skills (Presentation)
  3. Cross Party Group on FE and Future Skills (Changing Face of FE)

30 January 2018 - Focus on Construction

  1. FE and Future Skills Cross Party Group (Programme)
  2. Cross Party Group – FE and Future Skills (Presentation)

22 May 2018 - Focus on Health & Social Care

  1. FE and Future Skills Cross Party Group (Programme)
  2. Cross Party Group - FE and Future Skills (Notes)

9 October 2018 - Fair Funding for FE

  1. FE and Future Skills Cross Party Group (Programme)
  2. FE Funding Summary (Presentation)
  3. How Funding Supports Curriculum (Presentation)


ColegauCymru / CollegesWales leads and/or actively supports initiatives and campaigns that promote and demonstrate the value of vocational skills, including Skills Competition Wales, WorldSkills UK and VQ Day - in partnership with other organisations.

Key links:

VQ Day and VQ Awards

WorldSkills UK

Inspire! Adult Learner Awards

Other events

ColegauCymru / CollegesWales has also led and/or taken an active role in other campaigns over the years, including:

Engineering Week Wales

CollegesWales provides a range of professional services to its members. It also extends a number of its services to non-members in the post-16 education and training sector.

In particular, we:

  • coordinate a wide range of professional development networks via ColegauCymru's Moodle
  • identify and recognise good practice through the ColegauCymru Awards
  • focus on raising quality in Teaching and Learning through a series of conferences and international study visits
  • deliver CPD programmes for practitioners and managers in FE, for example the MA and PgCert in Leadership and Management for middle and senior managers (validated by HE partners) (note: no further enrolments accepted from 2016)
  • assist colleges to increase the type and range of opportunities available to students through the medium of Welsh, or through a Welsh/English bilingual mix, and to prepare for the introduction of the Welsh Language Standards.

Key links:

ColegauCymru's Moodle

ColegauCymru Awards

ColegauCymru Annual Conference

Teaching & Learning events

International Study Visits

Between 2003 and 2016, ColegauCymru provided numerous professional development opportunities for staff colleges, including the popular Masters program in Leadership and Management (FE), and Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Management. These programmes are no longer open to new enrolments, but current candidates will be supported until their graduation.

Masters in Leadership and Management (FE)

From 2003-2016, the University of South Wales, in partnership with ColegauCymru, offered a development programme at postgraduate level aimed at middle and senior management within the FE and HE sectors as well as the wider learning and skills sector. The program was based on the National Occupational Standards published by LLUK.

Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership and Management

This Level 7 course started in September 2010 and came to an end in 2016. It was delivered by ColegauCymru in conjunction with the University of South Wales. The course was developed to improve the performance of managers and first time line managers.


ColegauCymru acts as a coordination point and lead organisation on a range of national-level projects - on behalf of or jointly with others - that help develop staff or that provide significant learning opportunities for students.

Activities include:

ColegauCymru organises and supports opportunities for college staff to undertake overseas study visits focusing on improving quality and innovation, job shadowing with international counterparts, and developing strategic partnerships with international partners.

We also help college students and apprentices to broaden their horizons through coordinating a programme of work placements overseas and cultural exchanges.

In addition, ColegauCymru is Wales' lead contact point for the coordination of a range of European qualifications programmes on behalf of the Welsh Government.

Key links:

International work

European work

In partnership with Sport Wales, ColegauCymru / CollegesWales is the lead organisation for sport in further education colleges in Wales, raising the profile of sport, physical activity and volunteering through college projects and promoting elite college sport.

Key priorities for development:

  • Increasing participation in sport and physical activity among FE students in Wales
  • Tackling inequalities in sports participation with the aim of reducing the gender gap and increasing opportunities for disabled students
  • Increasing the employability of students in sports and physical activity while developing sustainable workforce for FE and the community
  • Academic, holistic and competitive support for elite athletes in the FE sector through college sports programmes.

Key link:



On behalf of the Welsh Government, ColegauCymru is Wales' lead contact point for the coordination of a range of European programmes that help learners, workers, employers, colleges, universities and careers advisors understand how skills and qualifications are recognised across Europe.

Together, these initiatives:

  • relate different countries' national qualifications systems to a common European reference framework, making national qualifications more readable across Europe
  • show the skills and qualifications that are needed to get work in particular trades in Europe
  • provide confidence in the quality assurance of vocational education and training programmes in Europe, building mutual trust, and
  • enable the recognition of learners’ achievements during periods of study and/or training overseas (which may be financially supported by Erasmus+ funds).


In preparing the way for Wales' new qualifications, ColegauCymru was contracted by the Welsh Government to:

  • deliver CPD for teaching staff in post-16 education and training in preparation for the introduction of the new GCSEs for first teaching in Sept 2016.
  • manage the Digital Literacy Practitioners Programme, developing, piloting and delivering training for practitioners ahead of the introduction of the Essential Digital Literacy Skills qualification for teaching from September 2015.

Key links:

ColegauCymru's Digital Literacy Practitioners' Programme (on ColegauCymru's Moodle)

Post-16 Qualifications: GCSE CPD Programme (on ColegauCymru's Moodle)

Previously, ColegauCymru / CollegesWales also:

  • undertook research into the feasibility and potential benefits of a programme-based approach to learning. We published a series of programme booklets for peer review in 2012/3 which informed the Government's Programme Directory of all programmes that are eligible for post-16 funding.
  • coordinated sector-wide consultation opportunities to feed into the Welsh Government-commissioned Review of Qualifications in 2012, including an online forum and national consultation conference
  • worked with colleges and employers in 2010 to put the UK's Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and Wales' Credit and Qualifications Framework Wales (CQFW) into practice in Wales.

Key links:

Welsh Government's Post-16 Programme Directory

Credit & Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW)

2012 Consultation Conference on the Review of Qualifications:

  1. Conference slides including presentations by the Review Chair, Huw Evans OBE, and Prof Alison Wolf
  2. Key points from the workshops
  3. Conference pack

Review of Qualifications (Welsh Government site)

Having previously revised the Safe Learning Communities Guidance and Self-Assessment Toolkit with Estyn and FE partners, ColegauCymru is now working with the Home Office’s HE and FE Prevent Coordinator for Wales to deliver training to key staff on the ‘Prevent Duty’ (introduced in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015) in order to help prevent people in further education institutions and independent training providers from being drawn into terrorism.


ColegauCymru was the Wales manager of the Money for Life – a UK-wide initiative by Lloyds Banking Group (2012-2015) that trained young people’s advisors, mentors and tutors on financial inclusion matters and which coordinated a high profile UK-wide annual money management competition for young people aged 16-25. This programme has now come to an end, but a number of projects live on in local communities - a legacy of its success.

Key links:

Money for Life

Leading the way

CollegesWales is led by its members - FE colleges across Wales.