Investment in Further Education in the Cardiff Area


Dydd Mercher, 7 Tachwedd 2012
Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am fuddsoddi mewn darpariaeth addysg bellach yn ardal Caerdydd.

[Will the Minister make a statement on investment in further education provision in the Cardiff area. ]
The Minister for Education and Skills (Leighton Andrews): The Welsh Government has agreed in principle with the development of a new city-centre campus at a cost of £40 million, with the Welsh Government contributing 50% of the overall cost. This investment is subject to approval of the necessary business case in line with the Treasury five-case model.


Mark Drakeford: I was a member of the South Glamorgan education committee in the 1980s when Coleg Glan Hafren was established as the first further education college in Cardiff. I welcome the additional £10 million that the Deputy Minister announced recently as a boost to a new post-16 further education campus in Cardiff city centre. Do you agree that this represents a step-change in the nature of the offer that will be made to young people in Cardiff looking for further education, and that the Welsh Government investment has been pivotal in bringing that about?
Leighton Andrews: I think that the Member for Cardiff West has shocked other colleagues by admitting to such high office in his teens. [“Laughter.”]


The investment is very good news for the capital city. There has been a feeling for many years that there has been something of a hole at the centre of further education provision in Cardiff. This will add to the quality of provision available to young people post 16 and it is a good development if considered alongside investments that I am sure will be made over time in the post-16 provision in the Cardiff school system.
The Leader of the Opposition (Andrew R.T. Davies): The Member for Cardiff West touched on the offer for post-16 education in FE colleges in Cardiff. Across South Wales Central, it is important that there is an offer and a genuine choice. Do you support sixth-form provision in our secondary schools in the form of A-levels, so that when students make their choice, they can do so based on the information provided to them and the possibility within their catchment area of staying in their secondary school or going to an FE college to study for their A-levels?


Leighton Andrews: It is important that young people have available the post-16 provision that is relevant to their needs. That may well be through further education colleges or it may well be through sixth forms. That will vary, I suspect, depending on the provision available in different institutions. If what you are seeking is a commitment in terms of sixth forms, while we believe that local authorities must work with further education colleges to ensure that there is no unnecessary duplication, we have no central plans to eliminate sixth forms.


Julie Morgan: A few weeks ago, I was delighted to attend the annual awards of the Cardiff and Vale College, which was an exciting occasion. Is there anything that the Minister could do about the stereotyping of subjects that takes place in all further education colleges, in particular regarding apprenticeships, where men do engineering and women do hairdressing, which leads to a pattern throughout life?


Leighton Andrews: The point you make is a very good one. My colleague the Deputy Minister for Skills has been able to highlight a number of examples where young women have been involved in construction or engineering, and given clear signals that there are strong role models in these fields; it is clear that we want to develop those opportunities. In the context of the new facilities that will be available in Cardiff, with proper co-operation with the secondary schools, there is good scope for expanding the awareness of what can be achieved on a non-gender-specific basis.