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Written Statement - Professor Wynne Jones’ OBE review of Learning Delivered by Further Education Colleges and the Relevance of that Delivery in Supporting Farm Businesses in Wales

Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food & Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology

Today, we jointly welcome Professor Wynne Jones OBE’s review of Learning Delivered by Further Education Colleges and the Relevance of that Delivery in Supporting Farm Businesses in Wales. The independent review commissioned by the Welsh Government considers the challenges facing the industry as well as, importantly, the opportunities available to it.

Professor Wynne Jones’ review makes a number of clear and helpful recommendations on the potential opportunities for working together and for relationships that could be developed between colleges and the farming industry. We have accepted all of his recommendations made in the report; five are accepted in-full, seven in-principle, and three in-part. Our officials have drawn up an action plan to ensure effective and timely implementation of those recommendations, working closely with further education providers and industry stakeholders.

The implementation of the report will assist the development and retention of necessary skills in the sector which is vital for the future success of the industry in Wales. The recommendations correspond with wider Welsh Government policy aspirations and the objectives of the Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014 which provides the statutory basis for recognising qualifications and experience in agriculture through a six grade career structure.

An industry which is committed to personal development, professionalism, and modern practice will be an attractive career option for aspiring entrants, and also provide increased job satisfaction for those individuals already in the industry. It is essential that agricultural students and those wishing to enter the industry embrace the learning and development opportunities that are available and that we work together to ensure those opportunities provide the best possible start for new entrants to agriculture.

We both wish to record our sincere thanks to Professor Wynne Jones OBE and to those who helped inform this important piece of work.