Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) and ACT, the two largest providers of apprenticeships and skills training in the capital, have joined forces to drive forward support for young people, communities and businesses across the South East Wales City Region.
The two well respected and growing providers have united to become a powerhouse for skills training, apprenticeships and work-based learning, able to support the growth in skills required by employers to deliver the ambitions of the city deal for the region. It will also look to increase opportunities for young people throughout South East Wales, providing multiple and seamless programmes and progression routes with the goal of ensuring no young person becomes NEET (not in employment, education or training).
Cardiff and Vale College has acquired the shareholding of ACT, which will see ACT join the CAVC family as a wholly owned subsidiary. ACT will continue to operate as a strong and successful company. This will see no change for staff, learners and employers of the two organisations – other than the opportunity to work more closely together to best meet the needs of the region.
The partnership makes the Cardiff and Vale College group the largest in Wales and in the top 5 colleges in the UK with a £75m turnover and over 30,000 learner enrolments annually. Together the two organisations also become the largest apprenticeship provider in Wales – providing high quality apprenticeships and training programmes across the region, Wales and beyond.
Mike James, Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale College said “Public funding across the board is continually reducing, and with Brexit and the potential Apprenticeship Levy comes further uncertainly. Yet it also provides significant opportunities for the future of apprenticeships, skills training and for both the CAVC and ACT brands. We need to ensure we are resilient and retain the capacity to continue to invest, develop provision, deliver more and increase opportunities to best support individuals, communities and employers across the region.
“The South East Wales City Region is one of the fastest growing areas in the UK, with vibrant and ambitious businesses, two Enterprise Zones and impressive inward investment plans. The region requires a strong, informed and responsive skills offer to support business growth and the economy of our region. Between CAVC and ACT we are already working with thousands of businesses and together we will drive this forward – furthering our support for business, sharing data, collaboratively planning for future needs and looking for skills gaps that need to be addressed.”
Andrew Cooksley, Managing Director of ACT said “We have a long-standing working relationship with Cardiff and Vale College that has seen us work collaboratively to develop and progress learners. Our provision is complementary and together we offer learning pathways across all Welsh Government sector skills areas from entry to higher level.
“There are big challenges across our region which need focus and investment – ensuring there are enough of the right opportunities for young people and adults to develop skills and become employable. By growing and widening these opportunities we make it harder for people to step out of education, training and work. Together we will build on our strong shared links with schools, communities and employers and further develop programmes and progression routes that lead people onto sustainable careers. At ACT we are looking forward to this next exciting phase when we can look at how we best tackle these future challenges together and support our capital region”.
Vaughan Gething AM for Cardiff South and Penarth, home to the head offices of both Cardiff and Vale College and ACT said, “The new partnership between ACT and Cardiff and Vale College is an exciting opportunity to further improve education, training and apprenticeship opportunities. I look forward to working with the new venture to build on the successful achievements of both organisations.”
Leader of City of Cardiff Council Cllr Bale said Leader of the City of Cardiff Council, Phil Bale said: “Better education and skills for all is a priority for the city.
“Cardiff is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and a highly skilled workforce is an essential part of this future growth.
“Given the right skills, the region’s workforce can take full advantage of the transformation we are seeing in the Cardiff city region economy.”
Chris Nott, Chair of the Welsh Government Sector Panel for Financial and Professional Services and a member of the Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone Board said “To support successful and growing businesses across the capital region and attract companies to Cardiff and Wales we need a pipeline of skilled talent. To make this happen the role of skills training is of strategic importance for the region.
“It is great to see two forward-thinking, high-performing and business-focused education and training providers like this coming together to work smarter and respond to the needs of businesses. To have a real powerhouse for apprenticeships and skills training in the heart of our capital city is a huge opportunity and a real strategic advantage for businesses and the region. This will be a major attraction to inward investors and a worry to the cities that Cardiff competes with”.
Mike James concluded, “We are delighted to have such a successful training provider join us to drive forward opportunities for young people, adults and businesses across our region. There is real alignment between our organisations – with a shared vision for the future, values base and focus on the same core priorities of high quality provision and growing our business to generate new income streams that we can use to reinvest in our communities. We know what we can achieve together and the pivotal role we can play in widening opportunities for individuals and supporting the development of prosperous communities, business and economic growth across our rapidly expanding city region”.