TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has today published its latest education update. TIGA’s update covers the latest announcements and developments concerning education in parliament, including on apprenticeships, BTECs and T Levels.
Written Answers and Statements:
Apprentices and Education
Department for Education
10 January 2022
Matt Western: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent comparative assessment he has made of the levels of demand among 18 to 25 year olds for (a) apprenticeships and (b) traditional further and higher education full time provision.
Alex Burghart: Apprenticeships provide young people with the opportunity to earn and learn the skills needed to start an exciting career in a wide range of industries, everything from artificial intelligence, archaeology, data science, business management and banking. There are currently over 640 employer-designed apprenticeship standards available at all levels, ensuring a wide variety of options for young people.
Prospective apprentices can search for employer advertised apprenticeship opportunities through the ‘find an apprenticeship’ (FAA) service on gov.uk and create an account to manage their applications and be alerted about new apprenticeships. Employers can advertise their apprenticeship vacancies through various other commercial services, or their own in-house channels, instead of, or in addition to FAA.
Latest published figures show over 15,000 vacancies on FAA available for prospective apprentices of all ages to apply for. Although we do not routinely publish data on apprenticeship demand through FAA, figures from the 12 months to 15 July 2021 show a ratio of roughly three applicants under 25 to one vacancy.
We are supporting employers to offer more apprenticeships to young people through encouraging more flexible training models such as front-loaded training, accelerated apprenticeships, and flexi-job apprenticeships. In addition, we continue to encourage more young people to consider apprenticeships through our Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge programme which reached over 600,000 students across England in the last academic year.
We recognise the need for skills from employers and learners, and in January 2021 we published the Skills for Jobs White Paper. This is focused on giving people the skills they need, in a way that suits them, so they can get great jobs in sectors the economy needs and boost this country’s productivity.
The White Paper supports delivery of my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s, Lifetime Skills Guarantee which is aimed at giving people the opportunity to upskill and reskill at different points in their life. This includes funding people for their first advanced level (A level equivalent) course through Free Courses for Jobs, short, flexible ways to train through employer-led Skills Bootcamps, and a Lifelong Loan Entitlement to be introduced from 2025.
It is also focused on putting employers at the heart of the skills system so education and training meets their needs and local areas planning what skills they need through Local Skills Improvement Plans.
Together with other key reforms, such as the introduction of T Levels as a high-quality alternative to A levels, employer led apprenticeships and boosting level 4 and 5 technical provision, we are ensuring that there are a wide range of opportunities available for people of all ages to get the skills they need and meet demand.
In respect of higher education (HE), 2021 has been a record year for UK students in HE admissions, not just in terms of the number of applications, but also in terms of those who have been accepted onto university courses. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service publishes data on the number of applicants and acceptances by age to full-time undergraduate higher education. Figures for the 2021 application cycle show the number of UK domiciled 18 to 24 year old applicants was 505,880, and the number of UK domiciled 18 to 24 year old acceptances was 423,270.
Question for Department for Education
11 January 2022
Matt Western: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made on the take-up of degree apprenticeships since their introduction.
Alex Burghart: Apprenticeships at levels 6 and 7, including degree apprenticeships, are an important and growing part of our education and skills system and we are encouraged by the take-up so far. We have seen year on year growth since their inception, and in the last academic year there were 58,760 starts on apprenticeships at levels 6-7, 74.4% growth in 2020/21 compared to 2018/19.
There are now over 150 industry-designed apprenticeship standards available at levels 6 and 7, of which over 100 of these include a degree. As these are jobs with training, they directly address skills shortages for employers. They are available in a wide range of sectors such as Aerospace, Automotive, Digital, Engineering, Financial, Health, Leadership, Legal, Manufacturing, Nuclear and Protective Services.
Whilst we have seen positive growth of degree apprenticeships, we would like to see even more. Higher and degree apprenticeships support productivity, social mobility and widening participation in higher education and employment.
We continue to encourage more employers to consider using these apprenticeships to meet the skills needs of their industries. Education providers, including universities, have a vital role to play in working with employers to offer these apprenticeships wherever there is employer demand.
The attached file contains the number of apprenticeships starts at level 6 and 7, along with a further breakdown of those apprenticeships with a mandatory degree component since the first starts were recorded in the 2014/15 academic year.
Department for Education
Wednesday 5 January 2022
Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many of the students that began T level courses in 2020-21 left the course before the end of the 2021 academic year, by institution and subject.
Alex Burghart: We have published the numbers of students recorded as enrolling on T Levels in 2020 (around 1,300) in the 2020 Action Plan: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/t-level-action-plan(opens in a new tab).
This figure was based on early data, we do not yet have the final official data for the 2020 to 2021 academic year. We are looking at what other data we might publish, as an addendum to the 2021 T Level Action Plan, in Spring 2022.
Department for Education
4 January 2022
Lord Watson of Invergowrie: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Barran on 13 December (HL4660), how many students are currently enrolled on a T level; and what has been the additional cost of funding more teaching hours for T level students.
Baroness Barran: We have published high level summary enrolment numbers for 2020 and 2021 in the recent T Level action plan and the one published in 2020, available to view here: in a new tab). We have also published 2020 starts in the 16-18 participation statistical data release in June 2021.T Levels include more teaching hours than general 16-19 study programmes. Therefore, 4 larger bands have been added to the 16-19 funding bands to ensure schools, colleges and other training providers with T Level students are paid at a higher rate. The additional costs of this are as follows for the first two academic years of T Levels:
|Funding stream||2020/21||2021/22||Totals to date|
|Funding for additional T Level teaching hours||£1.6 million||£5.1 million||£6.7 million|
The funding for additional T Level teaching hours is based on the published allocations of T Level numbers using a comparison of the standard T Level and band 5 funding rates.
Prime Minister’s Questions
24 November 2021
Mr Jonathan Lord: I celebrate the recent successes of Woking College, my local sixth-form college, and I welcome the recent Government investment in a new teaching block, which will allow it to expand. Many colleges and students find BTECs to be a really valuable qualification and course, enabling people to progress to higher education and skilled employment. Does the Prime Minister agree that we should protect student choice, and keep BTECs as an option for students?
The Prime Minister: Yes, we will continue to fund some BTECs where there is a clear need for them, but I must stress that we have to close the gap between the things that people study and the needs of business and employers, and that is what T-levels are designed to do.
Department for Education
11 November 2021
Lord Baker of Dorking: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many students were studying T Levels in the academic years beginning in (1) 2020, and (2) 2021.
Baroness Barran: Data from the Individualised Learner Record and School Census suggests that the number of students taking T Levels in the 2020/21 academic year was around 1,300. The department does not yet have confirmed student numbers for the 2021/22 cohort, but providers report that recruitment levels are positive. We expect to publish indicative student numbers for the 2021/22 academic year before the end of this year.
The department are introducing T Levels in a phased approach. The number of providers and courses will increase year on year, and we expect student numbers to grow significantly in line with the rollout. This managed introduction has meant T Levels got off to a high-quality start in 2020. Feedback from both providers and students has been positive.
Boost your skills and get on the path to a better job in 2022 with the National Careers Service
Education and Skills Funding Agency
11 January 2022
Has the New Year made you think about a new job, or the next chapter in your career? If this applies to you and you are scratching your head wondering where to start, why not register for our online National Careers Service careers workshops starting on 17 January.
We understand it can be difficult to untangle the offers that are out there to build your skills, or get going when faced with dusting off your old CV. Our workshops are there to make sense of it all and give you the tools, techniques, and motivation to take positive steps towards progressing in work or securing a new job.
We will take you on the journey and guide you through the process of planning your next steps and managing your career, from thinking about what skills you have, to being ready to apply for jobs and make a good impression on employers.
Each week will cover a new topic to improve your employability and help you to be as prepared as possible to go out and get that dream job.
- 17-21 Jan: Reviewing skills and interests
- 24-28 Jan: Exploring careers and your local jobs market
- 31 Jan – 4 Feb: Identifying learning
- 7-11 Feb: Writing your CV
- 14-18 Feb: Making a good impression in the interview
Each workshop will be hosted online by a professional National Careers Service careers adviser, with expert local knowledge, who will help you identify opportunities in your area. They will be on hand to provide further free and personalised careers advice if you need more support.
Week 1 Reviewing your skills & interests
The first week will focus on helping you to think about the skills you have and the skills you need. Understanding these is a great way to start to improve your employability and job prospects.
Our fully qualified careers advisers will help you to recognise the skills you never knew you had and identify the essential skills that you have that employers often look for. You’ll learn:
- How to review your skills with online tools
- About essential skills you can use in the workplace
- About your strengths and skills and how to apply them to job search
- And more…
To make a start on your path to better prospects, follow the links below to sign up to the events in your region:
|17 January: 10am – 11:30pm||West Midlands|
|17 January: 10:30am – 12pm||East of England|
|17 January: 1:30pm – 3pm||East Midlands|
|19 January: 10am – 11am||South West|
|19 January: 10am – 12pm||Yorkshire & Humber|
|19 January: 11am – 12pm||North West|
|20 January: 11:30am – 1pm||South East|
|20 January: 3pm – 4:30pm||North East|
|21 January: 10am – 11:30pm||London|
We understand the journey is not always a straight line, and you might not need help with every topic, so you can join in and jump out at any point.
If you would like to know more about these events, or need any careers advice on learning, training and work outside of these events you can always contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900 or via webchat (8am-8pm weekdays and 10am-5pm Saturdays) or visit https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/.
Every pupil across England will see an increase in funding, as school budgets are set to get an additional £4bn next year.
Department for Education and Robin Walker MP
16 December 2021
Children and young people across the country will benefit from an additional £4bn rise in funding for schools next year to help improve education and level up opportunity for all. This delivers on the Prime Minister’s commitment when entering Downing Street to level up school funding by pledging over £14bn in primary and secondary education by 2022/3 – and goes further still.
This funding includes an extra £1bn for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) which represents an unprecedented 13 per cent increase compared to this year. This will help schools, local authorities and other providers provide the right care and support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
The funding can be used to meet a wide range of operational costs from hiring specialist teachers and facilitating training, to buying more educational materials such as textbooks.
The rise is being set out as part of forecast funding allocations set out today (Thursday 16 December), and follows the funding announced at the Spending Review. This means every local authority area is forecast to see a cash terms increase of at least 4.7 per cent per pupil in its mainstream school funding, alongside the high needs funding increases.
This additional investment means that in total, the core schools budget will rise by £4bn next year (2022-23), or five per cent per pupil in real terms from this year – delivering more money for every child.
Schools Minister Robin Walker said:
Every pupil, no matter where they grow up or go to school, deserves an excellent education and the chance to fulfil their potential.
This £4bn funding boost delivers on the Prime Minister’s commitment to level up school funding – giving significant increases to every pupil in every school – and taken alongside our ambitious education recovery plan with additional investment of almost £5bn, will support every young person to catch up following the disruption caused by the pandemic.
This additional investment also represents a significant boost to high needs funding, helping local authorities support pupils with special educational needs, and helping to ensure all young people can thrive and succeed.
These funding announcements will mean £41.7bn in total goes to mainstream schools in 2022-23 – a cash increase of 5.8 per cent per pupil. Every primary school will receive at least £4,362 per pupil, and every secondary school at least £5,669 per pupil.
High needs funding will total £9.1bn in 2022-23. Early Years provision has an initial allocation of £3.6bn for 2022-23, following the increased hourly funding rates announced on 25 November.
To help schools target support for disadvantaged children and young people, Pupil Premium rates in 2022-23 will increase by 2.7 per cent, in line with forecast inflation as published by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) at the 2021 Spending Review. This means that total Pupil Premium funding will increase to over £2.6bn in 2022-23, from £2.5bn in 2021-22, with funding rates at their highest ever level in cash terms.
The core schools funding comes alongside the Government’s investment totalling nearly £5bn, up to 2024-25, to help children and young people recover from the impact of the pandemic, which includes spending £1.5bn on a national tutoring revolution in schools and colleges.
New qualifications aim to give students core digital skills
25 November 2021
Ofqual has launched a second consultation on its remaining policy proposals and draft Conditions, Requirements and Guidance for new Digital Functional Skills qualifications today.
The qualifications are being introduced by the Department for Education (DfE) and will be designed to teach core digital skills needed for life and work. Ofqual will regulate these new qualifications.
Ofqual consulted on our initial policy proposals for the regulation of these qualifications, at the same time as the DfE consulted on the draft subject content. We are publishing the outcomes of that consultation today. The DfE has now published the final subject content.
The new qualifications will go through an evaluation process before being made available to schools, colleges and training providers to deliver, to ensure they are valid and fit for purpose.
As set out by the DfE, they will sit alongside Essential Digital Skills Qualifications, as part of the government’s adult digital offer.
The qualifications will be first taught in August 2023 and Ofqual will work with awarding organisations and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth introduction.
You can share your views on our proposals by completing the consultation survey.
National Apprenticeship Week theme ‘Build the Future’ announced for 2022
Education and Skills Funding Agency
23 November 2021
The National Apprenticeship Week 2022 theme of ‘Build the Future’ continues from 2021, and focuses on the benefits apprenticeships can have on individuals, businesses, and local communities
A toolkit on how to get involved is now available
The theme of “Build the Future” continues for its second National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), which will take place between 7 and 13 February 2022.
The 15th annual week-long celebration will take place across England, encouraging individuals of any age to reach their career goals by building their skills and knowledge through an apprenticeship.
Peter Mucklow, Director, Apprenticeships, Education and Skills Funding Agency said:
National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the many benefits that apprenticeships bring to employers, individuals and the wider economy.
Apprenticeships build skills supply now and for the future, and form an important part of many organisations’ recruitment, skills and business strategies. We want employers to showcase how they are realising the return on their investment when apprentices are brought into the business. Apprenticeships offer outstanding access to skilled careers across a wide range of occupations and industries. We want current apprentices from all sectors and of all ages to get behind the Week and to demonstrate the positive impact of apprenticeships on their careers, families and communities.
I encourage employers, providers, partners, and apprentices to begin planning for National Apprenticeship Week 2022 now so we can spend the week collectively celebrating the impact of apprenticeships on individuals and our great businesses and public services.
To support National Apprenticeship Week 2022 individuals, employers, training providers and communities can get involved by encouraging everyone to consider how apprenticeships can help #BuildTheFuture. A toolkit is available to support the apprenticeship community with planning their activity for National Apprenticeship Week 2022.