‘A’ levels are not for everyone, nor are level 3 vocational qualifications. However, education is surely needed to stop young adults without higher level qualifications falling behind in what might one day be a post-Covid world.
So, the Prime Minister will today set out plans to transform the training and skills system where adults without an ‘A’ Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course – providing them with skills valued by employers, and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them.
It is hard to envisage how that will work as well as it should in places like Bude which does not have a further education college (students here generally have to travel to places like Petroc or Callywith but really such courses need to be local) but maybe the announcement will clarify.
This offer will be available from April in England, and will be paid for through the National Skills Fund. A full list of available courses will be set out shortly.
Higher education loans will also be made more flexible, allowing adults and young people to space out their study across their lifetimes, take more high-quality vocational courses in further education colleges and universities, and to support people to retrain for jobs of the future.
These changes will be backed by investment in college buildings and facilities – including over £1.5 billion in capital funding. More details will be set out in a further education white paper later this year.
In a speech today, the Prime Minister is expected to announce a new Lifetime Skill Guarantee. He will say:
As the Chancellor has said, we cannot, alas, save every job. What we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.
So my message today is that at every stage of your life, this government will help you get the skills you need.
He will add:
We’re transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain.
Apprenticeship opportunities will also be increased, with more funding for SMEs taking on apprentices, and greater flexibility in how their training is structured – especially in sectors such as construction and creative industries where there are more varied employment patterns.
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