SkillsActive Wales has agreed a mutual programme of work with Sport Wales which will enable the delivery of an extensive programme over the coming year. SkillsActive Wales is also happy to have secured funding from the Welsh Government Sector Priorities Fund Pilot (SPFP) to develop innovative learning and teaching materials for the level 3 Playwork Principles into Practice (P3) qualification.
The investment from Sport Wales will have a positive impact on the delivery of the SkillsActive Wales Business Plan 2012-13 and will ensure the full involvement of Welsh employers across the Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being sector.
The Sport Wales funding will go towards a number of initiatives which SkillsActive Wales has already begun to implement. These include:
• The production of an Annual State of the Industry Report for Wales, exploring sector specific gaps and shortages
• The development of a Single Qualification Framework, produced and agreed with key stakeholders in Wales
• An increase in REPs Wales members from 1000 to 1100, plus a 10% increase in the number of Welsh employers registering with REPs and a 5% increase in the number of instructors holding a level 3 qualification
• Promoting the importance of Active Passports across the sector.
In relation to the Sport Wales investment, SkillsActive Manager Richard Tobutt commented:
"SkillsActive Wales has maintained a healthy working relationship with Sport Wales for around 10 years. The activities agreed as part of this programme will positively impact on both the Sport Wales Vision for Sport, and particularly the 'skilled and passionate workforce strand', and the strategic context outlined in the Welsh Government 'Creating an Active Wales' document."
The Welsh Government Sector Priorities Fund Pilot also secured by SkillsActive Wales will massively assist playwork training delivery across Wales, by ensuring that the workforce is adequately skilled, trained and possesses the correct resources.
The project aims to develop and finalise bilingual learning and teaching materials for the recently developed Level 3 qualification entitled 'Playwork Principles into Practice' (P3).
The funding will allow SkillsActive Wales to lead the development of a full suite of resources for the Award, Certificate and Diploma which will promote high quality learning. Trainers currently delivering level 2 Playwork qualifications will also be upskilled, allowing them to progress the wide scale delivery of level 3 across Wales.
Concerning playwork funding, SkillsActive Technical Manager, Home Countries, Debbie Willets comments:
"The Children and Families (Wales) Measure places a duty on each local authority to provide sufficient play opportunities for children and young people and will increase the demand for qualifications within the playwork sector. Therefore, this project will have a positive impact on this strategic development and will go some of the way to address the skills shortages that exist across Wales."
Playwork qualification delivery is in its infancy in Wales, therefore the production of these resources will have a positive impact on the development of the playwork infrastructure. Ultimately, learners will benefit from these developments and will be able to further develop their playwork skills.
The investments will bring a whole range of benefits to the sport, fitness and playwork sectors in Wales, benefitting both the workforce and the general public.
SkillsActive Wales has secured about £235,000 of Government funding from the Sector Priority Fund Pilot to develop qualifications at Award, Certificate and Diploma levels for Playwork Principles into Practice. Play Wales and the SQA have been appointed to lead the delivery of the project.
SkillsActive Wales manager Richard Tobutt says: “The Playwork sector is already facing a significant skills shortage in Wales. This will be compounded by laws introduced in 2012 requiring each local authority to provide sufficient play opportunities for children and young people.
“We are really pleased that our bid for this funding has been successful and that playworkers will now have the opportunity to access these higher level qualifications.”
The new qualifications will be placed on the QCF at Level 3 and are intended for playworkers and childcare staff wanting to progress from the existing suite of P3 qualifications at Level 2.
Developed by SkillsActive in consultation with leading employers, the programme is designed to attract learners keen for a career in the sport and active leisure industry.
The first group of students begun the programme in September 2011 and will spend their first year studying a combination of core and optional qualifications at Level 2.
The programme supports the strategic approach set out in the Welsh Government ‘Skills That Work for Wales’ strategy. It is being delivered by further education institutions such as Coleg Sir Gar, Ystrad Mynach College, Coleg Llandrillo and Cardiff and Vale College.