Today, the Prime Minister has set out his plan to transform the provision of skills so that we can people to retrain and find new, well-paid jobs as part of the government’s agenda to Build Back Better.
As a result of the UK’s changing economy and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the government is developing a long-term plan to ensure that, as the nature of work changes, people have the skills to find and create new and better jobs.
The Lifetime Skills Guarantee will provide adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification from April the opportunity to take up a free, fully funded college course. Alongside this, higher education loans will be more flexible, allowing people to space out their study across their lifetimes and take more high-quality vocational courses.
This scheme will help provide people get the skills they need at every stage of their lives, as it delivers on the Government's promise to level up opportunity across the country. It is expanding post-18 education and training to level up and prepare workers for a post-coronavirus economy by:
- Offering a free and fully-funded college course to adults without an A-level or equivalent qualification – providing them with skills valued by employers, and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them. This offer will be available from April in England, and will be paid for through our National Skills Fund – one of the government’s manifesto pledges. A full list of available courses will be set out shortly.
- Making higher education loans more flexible – allowing adults and young people to choose the length and type of course that is right for them. This will allow them to take more high quality vocational courses in further education colleges and universities, and to support people to retrain for jobs of the future. The government is committed to making higher education more flexible to facilitate lifelong learning – and will make it easier for people to break up their studying into segments, transfer credits between colleges and universities and enable more part-time study.
- Investing more in college buildings and facilities, helping to ensure colleges are excellent places for people to learn. This investment includes over £1.5 billion in capital funding, with more details to follow in a further education white paper later this year.
- Extending the offer of training in a number of sectors, helping our country to build back better. The government is committing £8 million for digital skills boot camps; expanding successful pilots in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands and introducing programmes in four new locations. From next year, boot camps will be extended to sectors like construction and engineering, helping the country build back better. Earlier this year, we also launched our free online Skills Toolkit, helping people train in digital and numeracy skills. This is being expanded today to include 62 additional courses.