Third Sector is plugged into the heart of Department for Education and Skills priorities
- Friday, 20 July 2012
A new programme to help get young people into the workforce, sustainable development and European Structural Funds post 2014 were all on the agenda at the recent ministerial meeting with Education Minister Leighton Andrews AM.
Third sector representatives met Leighton Andrews AM, Welsh Government Minister for Education, and the Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert AM, on 24 May to discuss Jobs Growth Wales, ESF and European Structural Funds 2014-2020, sustainable development and green jobs and a paper outlining the sector’s views in relation to licensing of adventure activities, which is now the responsibility of Welsh Government.
WCVA is a delivery partner of Jobs Growth Wales, the new Welsh Government initiative that will create 4,000 jobs annually for out-of-work 16-24 year olds.
Two practical outcomes emerged from the meeting, based on agenda items brought to the table by the Welsh Government. The first has been the establishment of a third sector schools sub-group of the third sector ministerial planning group.
This group is working to develop a response to a paper prepared by Welsh Government officials and discussed provisionally at the ministerial meeting, about ways the third sector can engage more fully in the community focussed schools agenda and in raising educational standards.
It was agreed at the ministerial meeting that the sector would consult more broadly and respond to the questions raised by the Minister and Welsh Government officials and that the group would request the sector’s views on the issues raised and report back at the next meeting.
Network representatives from the third sector planning group have agreed to engage their networks and feedback views on these questions and other issues to the schools sub-group, which is being chaired by Pam Boyd, Chief Executive of ContinYou.
The second practical outcome was a request by the Minister and Welsh Government officials to work with them to develop a third sector stakeholder group to consider ways in which the sector can be fully engaged in delivery of the Welsh Language Strategy.
Dai Bryer of Urdd Gobaith Cymru has agreed to lead the third sector engagement with the Welsh Language Strategy, along with other colleagues including Lynne Reynolds, Communications Manager at WCVA. Again this group will work with Welsh Government officials to see how the third sector’s role can be maximised in delivery and will report back to the Minister at the next ministerial meeting.
There was an opportunity for the sector to feedback its views and maintain ongoing discussions with the Minister, Deputy Minister and officials about a wide range of issues. These included: Jobs Growth Wales, the important role the third sector plays in early stage engagement and supported employment programmes, continued efforts to explore the potential of community based stepping stone jobs and continued monitoring of the impact of welfare reform in Wales and its alignment with Welsh Government initiatives.
The next ministerial meeting will take place on 29 November and third sector network representatives are already engaged in the activities described above in preparation for it, as well as bringing and discussing other agenda items, including the implications of the recently published anti-poverty action plan for department priorities and the Programme for Government. We will report back on progress as it arises.
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