On the 15th of July, the government announced new measures to boost skills across the country. The new measures will focus on levelling up opportunities, getting more people into better-paid jobs and improving the skills of the nation. This announcement follows the Prime Minster’s levelling up speech where he advocated the value of practical and vocational education through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.
The Government will expand their Skills Bootcamp training program, to offer an extra 16,000 fully funded places for adults to retrain or upskill. This will include a range of digital and technical training, with a focus on green skills in fields such as solar energy installation, green transport and sustainable agriculture. There will also be training available in coding and software development.
A consultation has also been launched on the future of the National Skills Fund, which has helped thousands of adults retain and upskill, along with helping adults access nearly 400 free courses through the Free Courses for Jobs programme. The consultation asks for opinions on how the fund should be adapted to meet the needs of individuals and employers in the future.
The Skills Accelerator programme will also be available in eighteen areas across the country with the aim of building stronger partnerships between local employer groups, colleges and other providers.
New guidance has been published for schools and colleges to ensure all children are aware of the options available to them, aside from university, including apprenticeship and technical education.
Skills Bootcamps offer flexible training of up to 16 weeks, to allow adults the opportunity to upskill or retrain in sector-specific areas. The programme also offers a fast-track to an interview with a local employer.
In January the government posted the Skills for Jobs White Paper which set out reforms in post-16 education and training. The measures announced build on the work already underway to transform further and technical education, including the rollout of new T Levels. Working with employers to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities, establishing a system of Higher Technical Education and a network of Institutes of Technology, backed by up to £290 million.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
No matter where you are from, everyone should have the chance to get the skills needed to get a good job – whether that’s to launch a new career or upskill in their industry.
We have put skills right at the heart of our ambitious reforms, to make sure we can build back better from the pandemic, empowering people to get the skills they need to build the life they want.
Today marks the next vital step in our mission to level up opportunities by investing in skills, investing in lifelong learning and investing in communities so that people can thrive and prosper – wherever they live.