Further Education, Lifelong Learning and Careers Guidance

Further Education Opportunities

Further education from the age of sixteen is available locally and in cases where local colleges cannot meet a young person’s needs there are specialist residential colleges throughout the UK.

The key people to contact for information about all forms of further education are Careers Wales. 

Parents and young people are advised that there are different entry criteria for different courses and that in some cases an assessment may need to be carried out by the
local/ residential college.

There are two national directories of specialist colleges for people with learning disabilities.

One is the COPE directory, produced by Wiltshire Careers and available at Careers Wales. The other is the NATSPEC Directory, produced by the National Association of Specialist Colleges and available at www.natspec.org.uk, (see pages 80 & 81) as well as at Careers Wales (see page 81).

Examples of residential colleges in Wales for young people with learning disabilities are:

  • Pengwern College at Rhuddlan, (information available from Mencap Helpline 0808 8000 300)
  • Coleg Elidyr near Llandovery, run by the Camphill movement, (information available at 01550 760400 and www.camphill.org.uk.
  • Beechwood College in the Vale of Glamorgan is a specialist college for young people who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (Tel 029 2053 2210, www.beechwood-college.co.uk).
  • Barry College and Coleg Glan Hafren have merged to form Cardiff and Vale College. The College offers a wide range of learning opportunities for young people with learning disabilities. Learning support can be arranged to ensure that learners’ benefit fully from the course they are following.

All providers look to provide an inclusive learning experience for all learners.

Lifelong Learning

Welsh Assembly guidance makes clear that lifelong learning is one of the ways by which
people with learning disabilities maximise an individual’s potential. It is particularly important for people with learning disabilities. People with learning disabilities have the right to equal access to government or other lifelong learning opportunities where this would help their personal development or employment opportunities.

Such opportunities must be considered as part of the person’s individual planning process
or transition planning process. Appropriate information, advice and counselling should
be provided to all (young) people to inform the decision- making process. Each individual
should normally have a portfolio, linked to their individual plan, as part of the Unified
Assessment process. Vocational training should normally result in a recognised qualification and records of achievement should be maintained for each individual.
Lifelong learning can come in a variety of ways including colleges or other educational centres such as:

  • The Friary
  • day centres
  • some forms of accommodation

Information and advice about lifelong learning can be obtained from Careers Wales

Careers Guidance

The transition from school to post 16 education, training or employment is supported by careers guidance interventions. This service is provided by Careers Wales which offers advice and guidance on entry into educational, training or employment opportunities. It is an all-age provision to support lifelong learning.

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