A federation of 70 work-based learning providers across Wales has appointed a new strategic director to work closely with Senedd Cymru to ensure that apprenticeships remain a Welsh Government priority.
A former apprentice herself, Lisa Mytton, from Merthyr Tydfil, has been employed in the work-based learning sector for 25 years and is also a current member and former leader of Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council.
Speaking about her appointment to the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), she said:
I am excited about taking on this new role, as apprenticeships are a passion of mine and I continue to be a champion for young people on Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council.
The apprenticeship I took as a travel agent at the age of 16 helped me to become a manager at 19 and I progressed to a Higher Apprenticeship, a Degree in Education and a Professional Graduate Certificate.
The vision for me is ensure that the NTfW has a voice and seat around the table when policy decisions are made about apprenticeships. My job is to influence policymakers with informed viewpoints on all issues related to apprenticeships at a strategic level.
The NTfW’s apprenticeship contract holders and sub-contractors bridge the gap between education and industry by providing people with the opportunity to access high quality vocational programmes that can prepare young people to contribute to business success or upskill the existing workforce.
Lisa, who previously worked as head of quality at training provider ALS Training and its predecessor Acorn Learning Solutions, commended the Welsh Government for prioritising apprenticeships funding over a number of years.
I want to ensure that this continues to happen and that apprenticeships have parity of esteem. Apprenticeships provide the skills and innovation to grow the economy and that’s what we need as the country recovers from the pandemic. We see so many businesses calling out for skilled people.
The opportunities out there for apprenticeships, at up to degree level, are fantastic. We need to improve people’s understanding and awareness of apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on lives and businesses.
Apprenticeships are so crucial to the economy of Wales and it’s important that individuals and businesses have the opportunity to access these programmes.
One of Lisa’s tasks will be to scrutinise the Welsh Government’s Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill as it passes through Senedd Cymru, with the next stage set for September.
The Bill will lead to the creation of a Commission for Tertiary Education and Research to govern all post-16 education and training, heralding the end of the Higher Education Funding Council.
Lisa holds the distinction of being the youngest Mayor of Merthyr Tydfil at the age of 41 and she is the longest serving female member of the council, to which she was elected 14 years ago.
Welcoming Lisa to her new role at the NTfW, chairman John Nash said:
Lisa’s knowledge and experience within the work-based learning sector will be invaluable in facing the challenges of the post-16 education and training sector. I very much look forward to working with her.