Three education trade unions today (Monday 29 February) join together to challenge Assembly Members to unlock Wales’ potential and commit to properly funding post-16 full-time and part-time learning.
In a ground-breaking initiative, UCU, NUS Wales and UNISON Cymru Wales members will gather today at 12.30pm in the ATRiuM Building, University of South Wales, Cardiff for to launch Don’t cut me out.
The campaign will seek to impress upon Assembly Members the need to invest in lifelong learning; ensure a fair deal for all students and invest in part-time, flexible learning.
Politicians from across the parties have been invited to the event and will hear lay member testimonies on the importance of the sector.
Large cuts to post-16 education have disproportionately hit those from disadvantaged communities, women and minority groups. Additionally, research has shown the vast majority of adults returning to study on a part-time, flexible basis must often do so without the support or co-operation of their employer.
Ebbi Ferguson, NUS Wales said: “If we want a fairer Wales we must widen access to education.
“Our colleges and universities offer a vital second chance to adults who want to develop their skills and to those from disadvantaged communities.
“Cutting funding for post-16 full-time and part-time education denies these people, the majority of whom are women, another opportunity and means there is a huge untapped resource of potential Wales is missing out on.”
Lisa Edwards, UCU Wales said: “We’re saying to politicians, our colleges and universities can help drive Welsh economic success.
“We need proper funding for part-time education in Wales and a fair deal for adult students which means it is in their benefit to return to education without being disadvantaged for doing so.”
Simon Dunn, UNISON Cymru Wales said: “The message from the trades unions is: Welsh Government must ensure that part-time, flexible learning is as important as full-time study.
“We want to unlock Wales’ potential by encouraging adults back into learning.”
The three unions will be distributing campaign postcards they will ask their members to complete which will then be dispatched to respective Assembly Members.