Yesterday, the Government launched our new Skills for Jobs White Paper, setting out the landmark reforms we will deliver to revolutionise post-16 education and reshape the training landscape to help our country build back better.
As we recover from the pandemic, the Government are determined that everyone, no matter their circumstance or background, should have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to secure a good job.
Our Skills for Jobs White Paper demonstrates our ambition to deliver a first-class further and technical education system on par with our world-leading universities, and by enshrining our landmark Lifetime Skills Guarantee, the Government are setting out the blueprint for a post-16 education system that will give everyone the opportunity to gain the skills and training that our economy need.
By investing in our colleges, training providers and apprenticeships, the Government are putting skills at the heart of our plans to build Britain back better, as we continue to deliver on our promise to level up opportunity across the country.
To view the full policy paper on ‘Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth’, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skills-for-jobs-lifelong-learning-for-opportunity-and-growth.
Lifetime Skills Guarantee
The measures outlined today will build on the significant action already underway to transform the post-16 landscape, as the Government levels up and boost the nation’s skills through the new Lifetime Skills Guarantee. This includes rolling out pioneering new T Level qualifications, establishing a network of Institutes of Technology and continuing to work with businesses to improve the quality of apprenticeships and traineeships so employers and individuals can access the skills they need to succeed.
The Lifetime Skills Guarantee will offer tens of thousands of adults the opportunity to retrain in later life, helping them to gain in-demand skills and open up further job opportunities. This includes the chance for adults without a full level 3 qualification (A-level equivalent) to gain one from April 2021 for free in a range of sectors including engineering, health and accountancy. Meanwhile, Skills Bootcamps - free, flexible courses of just 12-16 weeks - are giving adults the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. A Lifelong Loan Entitlement will also make it easier for adults and young people to study more flexibly, which can be used over their lifetime and for modules of a course.
Post-18 education and funding review: interim conclusion
To coincide with the publication of the White Paper, the Government has published its interim response to the review of Post-18 Education and Funding (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-18-education-and-funding-review-interim-conclusion). The interim response details immediate plans to rebalance technical and academic education and future reforms with the higher education Teaching Grant. The final conclusion to the Post-18 review will be set out at the next Comprehensive Spending Review.
Consultation on post-qualification admissions
The Government is also launching its consultation on post-qualification admissions (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/post-qualification-admissions-in-higher-education-proposed-changes), which could see students receive and accept university offers after they have achieved their A level grades. The consultation aims to ensure a fairer higher education admissions system that provides a twenty-first century offer for all students.
Independent Review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework
The Independent Review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-tef-report), led by Dame Shirley Pearce, has also been published today alongside the Government’s response (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-tef) which sets out an ambition to raise quality in higher education.
Investment into further education colleges
So that learners have access to high quality buildings and facilities as well as world class education and training the Government is investing £1.5 billion in further education colleges. Following an initial £200 million investment in September 2020, so colleges could undertake immediate remedial work, the next phase of the FE Capital Transformation Fund (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-education-capital-transformation-fund) has been launched today. Further education colleges across the country are invited to bid for funding to upgrade buildings and campuses.