Skip to Content
image description
Open College Network West Midlands Centres: Lifetime learning for all

News January 2021

Pioneering reforms to boost skills and jobs

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Landmark reforms that will transform post-16 education and training, boost skills and get more people into work, have been published today (21 January) by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

 
The government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper enshrines the Prime Minister’s new Lifetime Skills Guarantee, setting out a blueprint for a post-16 education system that will ensure everyone, no matter where they live or their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives.
 
The Lifetime Skills Guarantee will offer tens of thousands of adults the opportunity to retrain in later life, helping them to gain in-demand skills and open up further job opportunities. This includes the chance for adults without a full level 3 qualification (A-level equivalent) to gain one from April 2021 for free in a range of sectors including engineering, health and accountancy. Meanwhile, Skills Bootcamps - free, flexible courses of just 12-16 weeks - are giving adults the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. A Lifelong Loan Entitlement will also make it easier for adults and young people to study more flexibly, which can be used over their lifetime and for modules of a course.
 
The measures announced today will put an end to the illusion that a degree is the only route to success and a good job, and that further and technical education is the second-class option. Instead, they will supercharge further and technical education, realigning the whole system around the needs of employers, so that people are trained for the skills gaps that exist now, and in the future, in sectors the economy needs, including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.
 

Measures include:

  • Business groups, including Chambers of Commerce, working alongside colleges to develop tailored skills plans to meet local training needs; supported by a £65 million Strategic Development Fund to put the plans into action and establish new College Business Centres to drive innovation and enhanced collaboration with employers.
  • Giving employers a central role in designing almost all technical courses by 2030, to ensure that the education and training people receive is directly linked to the skills needed for real jobs.
  • Boosting the quality and uptake of Higher Technical Qualifications - that provide the skills that many employers say they need and that can lead to higher wages – by introducing newly approved qualifications from September 2022 supported by a government-backed brand and quality mark.
  • Changing the law so that from 2025 people can access flexible student finance so they can train and retrain throughout their lives, supported by funding in 21/22 to test ways to boost access to more modular and flexible learning.
  • Launching a nationwide recruitment campaign to get more talented individuals to teach in further education and investing in high quality professional development including a new Workforce Industry Exchange Programme.
 
Overhauling the funding and accountability rules, so funding is better targeted at supporting high quality education and training that meets the needs of employers; and introducing new powers to intervene when colleges are failing to deliver good outcomes for the communities they serve.
 
The drive to place employers at the heart of the skills system comes as the Prime Minister launches a new Build Back Better Business Council. The new group will see business leaders work directly with government to fuel the Covid-19 economic recovery.
 
 
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
 
"Our Lifetime Skills Guarantee means that everyone will be given the chance to get the skills they need, right from the very start of their career.
 
"In the years ahead, the reforms we have announced today will deliver high quality technical education across the country – and help people retrain and secure better paid jobs.
 
"That way when we have beaten Covid-19 we can put rocket boosters under our recovery and Build Back Better."
 
 
 
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
 
"Our reforms to post-16 education will focus on the skills people and business need for our economy to grow. As we recover from the pandemic, our Lifetime Skills Guarantee will ensure everyone has the confidence and opportunity to gain the skills they need to progress at any stage of their lives.
 
"These reforms are at the heart of our plans to build back better, ensuring all technical education and training is based on what employers want and need, whilst providing individuals with the training they need to get a well-paid and secure job, no matter where they live, and in the sectors that are critical to our future economic success."
 
 
 

Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth

 
This white paper sets out reforms to post-16 technical education and training to support people to develop the skills needed to get good jobs and improve national productivity, including measures to:
  • give employers a greater say in the development of skills
  • provide higher level technical skills
  • provide a flexible, lifetime skills guarantee
  • simplify and reform funding and accountability for providers
  • support outstanding teaching
 

>>> Read the full Skills For Jobs White Paper here <<<

 
Make an enquiry

Make an enquiry

Form
     
Back to topwrapper">Back to top