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Welsh Lib Dems secure £128m for education and apprenticeships

September 30, 2014 2:14 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have secured £128 million to be spent on education and training in Wales.

In return for not voting down Labour's budget the Welsh Lib Dems have successfully obtained funding for supporting student-parents, youth concessions on bus fares and apprenticeships, whilst also increasing support for school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The deal will see £14.75 million spent on the 'Young Travellers' scheme which will grant discounted bus travel during the academic year for 16 to 18 year olds in full time education. It also promotes a pilot scheme to provide childcare support in the NUS 'Care to learn' scheme offering childcare to parents who are in education.

Also included is protection against planned cuts to apprenticeships with funding secured for 5000 new apprenticeships over the coming two years.

There will also be an increase to the Pupil Deprivation Grant (PDG) which gives schools extra money for every pupil eligible for free school meals in order to raise attainment and make sure every child has a fair start in life.

In addition to all of this the Welsh Liberal Democrats negotiated a further £95 million of capital investment in infrastructure which will help create more jobs and a stronger economy for Wales.

Councillor Mike Powell said

"This investment in education is essential to ensure that all children get the start they deserve in life. There is traditionally a gap in average achievement levels between those on free school meals and those who are not. Schools will invest this extra money in helping to bridge that gap and ensure everyone can achieve to the best of their ability.

"Welsh liberal Democrats believe that affordable public transport is key to allow young people access work, education, training and apprenticeship opportunities. Thanks to the deal made by our colleagues in the Assembly 16 to18 year olds will be able to travel at a discounted rate which will help them to widen their horizons."