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Government announce huge reforms to post-16 education

The Government has announced huge reforms to post-16 education with the release of the Skills for Jobs white paper that aims to provide people with the skills that employers want in order to secure work.

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee will allow people to retrain later in life at an A-Level or equivalent qualification if they don’t already have one in various sectors including engineering, health and accountancy.

The Government’s Skills Bootcamps will offer short 12-16 week courses that, again, offer people the chance to gain industry-specific skills that employers are looking for when considering whether a candidate is right.

Measures that have been put in place today aim to dispel the myth that University is the only way that a person can achieve a top-quality education and a job as a result.

The 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.

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.”

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