The Government has unveiled a new legislative programme which is set to “revolutionise skills and training opportunities.”
The new laws were announced in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech; TIGA’s summary of which is available here.
The government are set to introduce the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill on 18 May. The Bill forms the legislative underpinning for the reforms included in the Skills White Paper.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the new laws will create a post-16, adult education and training system that will provide the skills that people need to attain well-paid jobs. The system will also create opportunities for people to train throughout their lifetime.
The legislative measures include:
- “enabling a new student finance system to transform the current student loans system, which will give every adult access to a flexible loan for higher-level education and training at university or college, useable at any point in their lives.
- “employers will have a statutory role in planning publicly-funded training programmes with education providers, through a “Skills Accelerator” programme
- “the Secretary of State for Education will be given more powers to intervene in colleges that fail to meet local needs, and to direct structural change where needed to ensure the provider improves.”
These build on other changes which the Government have made to post-16 education. These include the introduction of new T Level courses and job-relevant “bootcamp” courses.
The Lifelong Loan Entitlement will give all individuals access to 4 years of student loans for higher-level study. These loans can be used flexibly across a lifetime for modules or full qualifications. They apply to both technical qualifications and academic education.
The restructured skills system also includes the ‘Skills Accelerator programme.’ The programme has been designed to build stronger partnerships between employers and their local Further Education colleges. This measure aims to ensure that training provision meets local needs in sectors including construction, digital, and manufacturing.
According to the Government, “Work is also ongoing with businesses of all sizes to support them to offer more, high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.” To bolster this, the government is offering cash incentives of £3,000 to employers for each new apprentice they take on until the end of September.
To read the Prime Minister’s Office’s full statement on skills and training reform, click here.