TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry, has today published a Parliamentary activity update for the education sector.
Written Answers and Statements:
Digital Technology: Training
Department for Education
12 March 2021
Chi Onwurah (Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the £138 million in funding for technical courses for adults will be spent on increasing digital skills.
Gillian Keegan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State): The government will invest £138 million to fund in-demand technical courses for adults, and to expand the employer-led bootcamp training model, in high value areas such as digital and technical skills.
The £138 million investment will come from the £2.5 billion National Skills Fund (NSF) and will include £95 million funding for a new level 3 adult offer and £43 million for Skills Bootcamps. Investment in skills through the NSF is vital, ensuring adults have the opportunity to progress into higher wage employment and to support those who need the opportunity to retrain at different points throughout their lives.
The level 3 adult offer, available from this April, will support any adult aged 24 and over, who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification to access around 400 fully funded courses. The offer includes a range of qualifications that are valuable across the economy in multiple sectors. The qualifications list currently includes 33 digital qualifications in areas such as cyber security, coding, network architecture, systems support, and aspects of digital design for the creative industries. We will keep this list under review to ensure it adapts to the changing needs of the economy.
Whilst £95 million has been dedicated for the level 3 adult offer, the exact spend on different courses will be based on learner uptake.
Complementing the level 3 adult offer, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. Skills Bootcamps offer digital skills training in areas such as software development, digital marketing and data analytics and technical skills training. We have introduced the Skills Bootcamps in six local areas so far, and we are investing a further £43 million from the NSF to extend them across England.
Following a competitive application process, successful bids will be announced in the spring to ensure many more thousands of adults benefit from this offer. We expect that at least half of the £43 million Skills Bootcamps funding will address digital skills needs, but the final figure will be determined by the outcome of the procurement.
The government plans to consult on the NSF in spring 2021 to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepares them for the economy of the future.
Turing Scheme to open up to global study and work opportunities
Department for Education, Michelle Donelan MP, The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP
12 March 2021
Schools, colleges and universities can now apply for funding from today (Friday 12 March) to allow students to study and work across the globe as part of the new Turing Scheme.
The programme, backed by £110 million, replaces the Erasmus+ scheme in the UK and will fund 35,000 global exchanges from September 2021, including university study, school exchanges, and industry work placements.
The new scheme aims to improve social mobility, targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country. The British Council and Ecorys will be targeting disadvantaged parts of the country to promote the scheme to improve take up.
The Turing scheme offers benefits to students that they would not have under the previous Erasmus+ programme, with university students from disadvantaged backgrounds set to receive a maximum of £490 per month towards living costs (currently worth around 573 euros compared to 540 euros under Erasmus+), alongside travel funding, and other forms of additional funding to offset the cost of passports, visas and insurance.
Unlike Erasmus+, which is EU-focused, the Turing Scheme is a truly global programme and every country in the world is eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:
‘The Turing Scheme is a truly global programme with every country in the world eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges.
‘It is also levelling up in action, as the scheme seeks to help students of all income groups from across the country experience fantastic education opportunities in any country they choose.’
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
‘This is a landmark step in delivering on our promise to level up a truly global Britain, strengthening our ties across the world and providing students with the skills they need to thrive.
‘The programme’s focus on social mobility and value for money will open up more opportunities for international education and travel to all of our students, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds who were less likely to benefit from the previous EU scheme.
‘I urge all universities, schools and colleges from all corners of the UK to start their applications and partner up with countries worldwide.’
Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan said:
‘The Turing scheme will support our levelling up agenda by opening up the world to young people and children from all backgrounds with exciting global opportunities.
‘The scheme will enable up to 35,000 students throughout the UK to work or study across the globe.’
As part of the UK-wide launch, education ministers are visiting the devolved nations today to highlight the advantages of the Turing scheme and ensure wider participation for all students across the UK.
In support of the launch, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan will visit Cardiff University and Edinburgh University to discuss the bidding process including how to demonstrate widening access to more disadvantaged students as part of the application process.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb and Apprenticeships Minister Gillian Keegan will visit educational settings in areas that have not previously benefitted from Erasmus+. Applicants from schools and colleges are encouraged, with funding levels and eligibility set out in programme guides available to help inform applications.
UK organisations are encouraged to form partnerships across the globe, not just the EU. The Turing website includes the programme guide, funding levels and eligibility, and details of webinars available to help inform applications.
Successful applications will receive funding for administering the scheme and students taking part will receive grants to help them with the costs of their international experience. The benefits of the exchanges will be assessed and the findings used to build on future schemes. Funding decisions for subsequent years will be subject to future spending reviews.
£110m of funding will be available to support projects and activities during the 2021/2022 academic year. This is enough to fund similar levels of student exchanges under the former Erasmus+ scheme.
Programme guidance, including information on the application process, has also been published on the Turing Scheme website.
The Government has responded to TIGA’s calls to retain funding for AGQs
10 March 2021
On 3 March 2021, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan MP, responded to TIGA’s calls to retain and enhance funding for Applied General Qualifications (AGQs).
In a letter to TIGA CEO, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Keegan said that she understood TIGA’s concerns over the termination of funding for AGQs.
Keegan noted that in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, further education will play a crucial role in the recovery of the UK economy. Therefore, she continued, it is vital that learners have access to a wide variety of courses.
Keegan made the assurance that the Department for Education has consulted widely on proposals for reforming post-16 qualifications at Level 3.
The second stage of this consultation ran from 23 October to 31 January and asked for views on the range of qualifications that will sit alongside A-Levels and T-Levels in the future. TIGA’s response to this consultation stressed the importance of retaining and enhancing funding for current AGQs.
Keegan concluded her response by stating that no decisions have been made about individual subjects or the potential removal of funding for existing qualifications.
According to Keegan, the Department for Education are currently analysing responses to the consultation and will publish a final impact assessment as part of the department’s response.