Today, the Government has launched hundreds of new free qualifications as part of our Lifetime Skills Guarantee – ensuring everyone has the opportunity to train and upskill throughout their lives. As we continue to cautiously lift lockdown restrictions, our focus is on recovering from the pandemic and building back better.
That is why the Government are launching hundreds of new free courses through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee - giving an estimated 11 million adults the chance to gain the skills they need to secure rewarding careers in key sectors of the economy including construction, healthcare and digital.
Almost 400 qualifications are available to take from today (1 April) - backed by £95 million in Government funding in 2021/22 - as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee. The qualifications on offer range from engineering to social care to conservation and are available to any adult who has not already achieved a qualification at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels).
For details of the free courses and qualifications for adults (19+) available through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/free-courses-for-jobs.
Adults who take up the free courses have the potential to boost career prospects, wages and help fill skills gaps, while supporting the economy and building back better.
Helping the unemployed
So more unemployed people can take full advantage of these courses, the Government will pilot an extension to the length of time they can receive Universal Credit while undertaking work-focused study. They will now be able to train full time for up to 12 weeks, or up to 16 weeks on a full time skills bootcamp in England, while receiving Universal Credit to support their living costs This will allow access to more training options and provide a better chance of finding work, while continuing to receive the support they need.
As well as the free courses, as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, thousands of adults have taken advantage of new Skills Bootcamps which offer free, flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks covering areas including construction, digital and technical. Skills Bootcamps – which are currently running in six areas of the country - provide a chance to learn specific skills and offer a fast-track to an interview with a local employer at the end. Skills Bootcamps will be expanded across the country later this year.
Skills for Jobs White Paper
The Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper, published in January, enshrines the Lifetime Skills Guarantee – setting out landmark reforms that will realigning the post-16 education system around the needs of employers, so that people are trained for the skills gaps that exist now, and in the future, in sectors the economy needs, including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.
The White Paper forms a key part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs which is protecting, supporting and creating jobs across the country and will help everyone to benefit from the opportunities available to them.
Our message is clear. At every stage of your life, the Government will help you get the skills you need to train, retrain, and get into jobs you want, and our economy needs.