The Welsh Government has launched a new initiative offering people the chance to gain the skills and qualifications they need to re-write their career.
The initiative is being piloted by Coleg Gwent in south east Wales, and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai in north Wales. The scheme is available to anyone living in Wales over the age of 19 who is in employment but earning less than £26,000 per year.
The Personal Learning Account pilot offers employed people the chance to access free and flexible courses within the engineering, construction or ICT sectors to gain the relevant skills and qualifications they need to kick-start a new career.
The Progressive Agreement reached between the First Minister and Kirsty Williams in December included a new commitment to deliver a “right to lifelong learning, investing in skills which people need throughout their lives”.
It is expected that the project will support around 1,000 participants over the lifetime of the pilot.
Kirsty Williams, the Minister for Education, said:
Employers within the engineering, construction and ICT sectors are experiencing rising skill shortages and are looking to recruit individuals with the relevant vocational skills and qualifications they need to fill current and future gaps. This new project will help them to do that.
All of the courses are funded by the Welsh Government and dedicated careers advisers at Working Wales will help each individual to establish a workable plan that is manageable around their existing commitments to help them achieve their future career goals.
A pilot programme will run for 2 years and on completion the programme will be reviewed with the intention of more courses becoming available across a wider variety of sectors, further opening up the opportunities for people to switch careers.
Ken Skates, the Minister for Economy and Transport, said:
In the economic climate we face, the right to lifelong learning becomes more important than ever and this initiative has been designed to help people in Wales upskill and overcome barriers that might be holding them back from realising their full potential.
Our new Personal Learning Accounts will give individuals the opportunity to obtain the skills, knowledge and qualifications they need to embark on a new career, and do so in a way that fits around their lifestyle.
Personal Learning Accounts will also benefit our economy, helping to ensure that employers can recruit people with the skills and qualifications they need to enable their businesses to flourish and grow.
For more information search Working Wales Personal Learning Account, drop in to a Careers Wales office, visit Working Wales or call 0800 028 4844.