manufacturing organisationCuts in the Welsh Government’s further education budget will widen Wales’ skills gap and threaten the country’s transition to a higher value economy.

The Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF) in Wales has stated that manufacturing skills are at risk from college cuts.

EEF Wales director Paul Byard said that planned cuts were “unacceptable” and that manufacturers should lobby to have them reversed.

Byard said further education spending was being cut while more money was going into the NHS in Wales. He said: “If you think of that coldly, that’s absolutely unacceptable on the basis that Wales spends about £6.5bn a year on the NHS.”

Byard said savings from better procurement and efficiency could save health service costs in Wales and avoid any need to cut college provision. He highlighted figures showing a shortage of engineering apprentices, and the loss of about 25 per cent of skilled manufacturing staff by 2025.

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