PM announces new ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, yesterday announced a ‘Lifetime Skills Guarantee’ – which will mean that adults without an A level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded FE course.
The new scheme, which forms part of the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda in response to Covid-19, will try and provide adults with "skills valued by employers", and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them.
Speaking from Exeter College in Devon, Boris Johnson yesterday said:
“All of us, in this country, need you to have those practical skills. We need those practical skills collectively as a society and as an economy more than ever.”
He also argued that reforms to FE and technical education are vital in ensuring the UK can ‘Build Back Better’ from the Coronavirus pandemic, stating: “We’ve got to end the pointless, nonsensical gulf that’s been fixed for generations… between the so called academic and the so called practical” forms of education.
During the speech, the Prime Minister committed to a wide set of reforms. These included commitments to:
- Give everyone a flexible, lifelong skills entitlement to four years of technical education
- Upgrade FE colleges with capital investment
- Expand apprenticeships and make them “portable”; thereby making it easier to get high quality apprenticeships which are connected to local employers
- Fund free technical courses for adults, equivalent to A Level
- Expand the government’s Digital Bootcamps
- Expand and transform the funding system so it is “as easy to get a loan for a higher technical course as for a university degree”
- Enable FE Colleges to access funding on the same terms as universities
David Gallagher, Chief Executive at NCFE, yesterday commented:
“At NCFE, we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Lifetime Skills Guarantee. This is a positive step in the protection of the country’s workforce at a challenging time. We eagerly await further detail on the courses that will be funded, so we can support the Government’s ambition to help people to upskill and reach their full potential.
“The pandemic has already left unemployment at 4.1%, and there are huge challenges still to overcome as we begin to rebuild. It is vital that we do so with high quality FE options for people of all ages, so the government’s announcement is extremely timely. At NCFE we are working hard to understand the needs of learners, employers and communities and align our offer with economic and social priorities, at a national and local level. Our Go The Distance initiative, for example, is taking focused action on employment by supporting people to access high quality learning opportunities and achieve valuable outcomes - so it is encouraging to see a central commitment to this agenda.
“Alongside this important reform, it is crucial that there is adequate financial support for these learners. The Government should carefully consider what maintenance support is available to those who need it, across both the FE and HE sectors.”
The Lifetime Skills Guarantee will be available from April next year across England and will be funded through the National Skills Fund.
The government will issue further information on which courses will be funded shortly.
For more information, see the official Government press statement here.
Latest News from
Pilot using VR in assessment finds positive impact on student performance26/09/2023 14:15:00
A study by The Sheffield College found that using Virtual Reality (VR) in assessments had a positive impact on student performance and in retaining information.
Why gender stereotypes harm everyone on their lifelong learning journeys25/09/2023 16:15:00
Gender stereotypes harm everyone. They place us all into binary boxes, impacting the way we develop, learn and view ourselves. Before a child is even born, their biological sex has determined how society will define them, through a gender binary.
Learner with former alcohol problem helps create new addiction recovery qualification13/09/2023 09:15:00
A brand-new addiction recovery qualification has launched after being co-created by someone with a previous alcohol dependency.
Unique exam practice tool aiming to increase first-time pass rates in Functional Skills12/09/2023 11:15:00
A digital practice paper that helps learners to better prepare for their Functional Skills exam is being further developed thanks to a unique educational fund.
5 child-friendly books to help build foundations for a sustainable world11/09/2023 16:15:00
Back in 2021, my colleagues and I collaborated to develop a resource which introduces young children to sustainability through engaging and interactive experiences.
Learner stories: "Thank you, NCFE, for igniting my love of coaching"01/09/2023 14:15:00
Susannah Chambers, who currently works as an Agile Coach Lead at a major international fintech organisation, has progressed through her career by building on the foundations laid by studying two NCFE qualifications in coaching.
Learner stories: “I'd like to be an air traffic controller – that's my main goal”31/08/2023 11:15:00
Megan Dutton, a 17-year-old learner at Craven College, is about to begin studying a Level 3 Travel and Tourism with Aviation qualification. Here, we caught up with Megan to discover how studying is helping to prepare her to achieve her career aspiration of being an air traffic controller.
Preparing for success: transforming the Functional Skills experience for learners18/08/2023 11:15:00
Like most other teachers and tutors, I’m always reflecting on my professional practice – even after working within education for the past 14 years, my internal monologue seems to never take a breath.