£100m education investment aims to plug skill gap

£100m education investment aims to plug skill gap

The Welsh Government has announced an investment of £100m over the next three years to push forward its 21st Century Schools and Education programme.

The news was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams and Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan.

An extra £75m, has been specifically allocated to the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme, which is a long-term investment programme aimed at modernising education infrastructure.

£30m will be immediately invested in capital projects that will contribute to the goal of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

The latest investment announcement will bring the total invested over the life of the programme to almost £3.8bn.

The first phase of the programme will finish in 2019 having invested £1.4bn to support the rebuild and refurbishment of more than 150 schools and colleges across Wales. The second phase will see a spend of £2.3bn.

Kirsty Williams said: “Our national mission is to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap and deliver an education system that is a source of national pride and confidence.

“Our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme plays a key part in this and is the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.

“Having a comfortable, modern, fit-for-purpose environment in which to learn is vital to ensuring young people have the best possible education.

“This extra funding will mean that even more of our students will be able to benefit from having the best possible facilities in their schools and colleges.”

Eluned Morgan added: “Reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050 is a significant challenge and education is key to the success of this ambition.

“This means we need to invest in new Welsh medium schools and improve and increase the teaching of Welsh in English medium schools.

“Bringing forward this funding for immediate investment allows us to ensure there is no delay in the work to achieve this target.”