"The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill shows the Government’s serious commitment to levelling the playing field in education; demonstrating the value of lifelong learning through Further Education and how this will contribute to the country’s recovery and prosperity. The opportunity for every adult to take up a flexible loan for higher-level training is a positive step, but we must look beyond the creation of opportunities. We need to examine the barriers to accessing these opportunities for learners of all backgrounds; ensuring they have the means to participate and also the motivations that will compel them to act. Unfortunately, for many further debt is simply not a viable option. For others, they are so disconnected from the world of education that they don’t necessarily recognise the significant return on investment of their time or money.
“We must also look beyond purely academic and technical skills and focus on the core meta skills individuals need to be included in the labour market and society, skills and characteristics, such as; adaptability, problem solving and critical thinking are needed more now than ever. By developing mental fitness, confidence and resilience, we can support people to become the best version of themselves - positive about their future and ready to seize the opportunities that come their way. Opportunity, means and motivation – the Skills Bill absolutely supports the creation of opportunities but all three elements need to be in place in order to maximise human potential and create sustainable, far-reaching and impactful change across society.”