UCU Cymru Wales Official, Gareth Lloyd said:
“Whilst UCU Cymru acknowledges the pressures of Westminster’s miserly budget settlement, we believe that Wales can and must do better.
“The experience of the Pandemic proves how well we can innovate when Welsh Government work with colleges, universities and their staff. The cuts proposed in the 2024/25 budget signal another crossroads.
“Whether from the standpoint of giving educators the tools to support their practice or the time to develop their craft, Welsh Government must move forward with institutions and the profession to cement social partnership.
”The proposed cuts to apprenticeship need to be reversed. There needs to be meaningful consultation with colleges, universities, staff and unions to secure financial sustainability across the education sector.
“Having welcomed the Education Minister’s commitment to make Wales a ‘second chance nation’, UCU Cymru would consider it a tragedy if that pledge were now abandoned at the first sign of stormy weather.
“Consequently, we must all now choose whether to work together to protect the transformative power of education or discard the ambitions of a generation of learners.”
Dan Maney, Senior Wales Officer for NEU Cymru, added:
"It is welcome that Welsh Government has suggested school budgets will be protected - but the whole education budget should be a priority. With school funding going through local authorities, we urge the government to do everything possible to ensure that money gets to the schools, and supports children in their learning.
"We await more detail on the plans to stop funding the consortia directly. We hope the review into the middle tier will give our members a meaningful opportunity to help shape a positive plan for future support for the profession.
"We know budgets are tight, because of decisions in Westminster, but the plans for post-16 education appear grim, and will be disappointing to everyone who works so hard in their local areas, to support adults with learning opportunities."