The Fforwm conference provides an opportunity for representatives of local authorities, schools, colleges, businesses, training agencies, the voluntary sector, members and officials from the national assembly and other key players to meet.
Post-16 education and training issues, which are crucial to the future economic development and regeneration of Wales, will be discussed at the conference.
Launching the conference Mr German said: 'The development of skills and the provision of learning are inextricably linked to economic prosperity, and I am encouraged that your programme of activities for this conference reflects the broad interest in the work of the Further Education Sector in Wales.
'Looking to the future, societies will need to invest more in education and training to increase the skills of their workforces. These skills will need to be continually updated and therefore we must ensure that Wales has the skills and capacity to adapt to changing requirements and to improve productivity and wages.'
Speaking on the future of Wales he added: 'My vision for Wales in 10?15 years is for a prosperous Welsh economy that is dynamic, inclusive and sustainable, based on world-class competitive businesses and skilled, motivated people. We need to ensure that our existing workforce and future employees, are equipped with the key skills that businesses require to compete in a global economy such as management, communication, IT, problem solving and languages.
'I am looking to you to develop proposals on how we can promote innovation in your sector and to exploit your knowledge base more effectively. Both further and higher education play a central role in producing highly qualified people. You provide a significant part of Wales? advanced technology base, attract research and development and inward investment and are a key source of technology and advice for indigenous companies.
'I am also looking for ways to strengthen the science and technology base in Wales through better links between industry and learning establishments. We need to develop research capability ? the potential for new clusters, attracting new firms, and providing well-qualified researchers and scientists.'