Mental health support and staff pay rise among £23m increase in further education spending in Wales
The Welsh Government has revealed details of the additional £23m it will be providing to Further Education colleges, including sixth forms and Adult Community Learning, for the next financial year.
Today it was confirmed that college staff will receive a 2.75% pay rise after the Welsh Government provided funding of £6m to ensure college teachers receive the same pay as school teachers.
The Welsh Government will also provide an additional £2m to develop mental health and well-being support in colleges across Wales. Up to £80,000 will be made available to individual colleges to support both students and staff. Up to £800,000 will also be available to support collaborative projects between colleges.
The Welsh Government will continue its £10m Skills Development Fund, designed for colleges to address gaps in job-specific skills in their areas, as identified by local employers. £5m will again be available for colleges to invest in staff professional development, including developing digital and Welsh-language skills.
Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister, said:
Our further education colleges play a vital role in post-16 education in towns and cities all over Wales, as well as the wide range of services and employment opportunities they provide to local communities.
Ensuring students of all ages can access mental health support is one of my priorities and I’m pleased we’re providing additional funding for colleges to develop their front-line support services.
It’s also been an important principle for me that Further Education staff receive parity of pay with school teachers, so I’m delighted that this year’s pay increase has been agreed.
Dafydd Evans, Chair of the Colleges Wales Principals’ Forum, said:
We are pleased to offer all FE staff a 2.75% pay rise and an additional rise to those entering the teaching profession. Our ongoing partnership with the Welsh Government will enable learners and employers to gain the skills they need while ensuring that FE colleges provide dynamic and rewarding careers for staff.
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