Tens of thousands of adults to benefit from hundreds of free courses next year, including engineering, health, construction and accountancy.
The fully-funded courses, ranging from engineering to healthcare to conservation, will be available to adults without a full qualification at Level 3 (A-level equivalent) from April 2021 to help them gain in-demand skills and open up further job opportunities.
Designed to help our country build back better after the pandemic, the Government say the qualifications in this offer have been carefully chosen to help adults improve their career prospects and meet the needs of the economy. They say they will also be reviewed regularly so the courses offered can be updated as the economy changes.
The announcement marks an important step in the development of the government’s landmark Lifetime Skills Guarantee. It is hoped it will transform the skills system to ensure more people, no matter their age or background, can get the skills they need to progress in employment.
The offer is backed by £95 million from the £2.5 billion National Skills Fund, which is financing programmes that both support the immediate economic recovery and help meet future skills needs.
The Government say this funding will not only enable thousands of adults to gain new qualifications and access better job opportunities; a proportion will also be used to support education and training providers to scale up their provision to deliver the courses and meet the needs of learners.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson added:
The government’s plan to support people to upskill and retrain was also bolstered earlier recently by the announcement of £43 million from the National Skills Fund to expand the pioneering ‘Skills Bootcamps’ to other areas of England in 2021.
The Bootcamps – which were launched in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region this autumn, offer free, flexible courses of 12-16 weeks to give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.
Registrations have now opened for courses in the Leeds City Region, Heart of the South West, and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire which will cover digital skills like software development, digital marketing, and data analytics but also technical skills training in such areas as welding, engineering, and construction.
Alongside the new Level 3 offer, the Lifetime Skill Guarantee will also include a Lifelong Loan Entitlement which will allow adults and young people to space out their study across their lifetimes and take high-quality courses in both further education colleges and universities.