Are our students employable? This is a fundamental question that we regularly ask. The ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment published earlier this year lists 600 blackspots across the UK where the number of under-24s claiming Jobseekers' Allowance is far above the national average. 25 of these are in North Wales and Rhyl West is the second worst in Britain.
Overall in Wales, there are now 41,000 unemployed young people, 11,325 more than 2008.
With statistics like these, it is imperative that our students follow a curriculum which will ultimately get them a job.
This means equipping them with the qualifications, skills, knowledge and attitudes that employers require. We call this 'Curriculum for Progression.' Through our networks of employer focus groups and local College Councils, we are able to review our curriculum regularly to ensure our students have the best chance of getting those jobs that are available.
"To what extent should employers play a role in the development of qualifications?" This is one of the questions posed as part of the consultation process on the 'Review of Qualifications for 14-19 year olds in Wales.' Ordered by the Welsh Government last year. The review will make recommendations on how Wales can achieve qualifications which are understood and valued, as well as meeting the needs of young people and the economy in Wales.
Socrates, the Greek philosopher born over 2,000 years ago in 469BC, said: "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. …