Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education published a major new White Paper entitled "Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth." It sets out this Government's reforms to technical education and skills, and will make sure people can get the education and training they need to get great jobs, and also help employers fill the skills gaps they currently face.
It aims to bring employers and colleges closer together, putting employers at the heart of the skills system so that education and training meets their needs. By 2030, almost all technical courses will be based on employer-led standards, and the Government will be introducing 'Local Skills Improvement Plans.' Starting in 2021, in a number of areas nationwide, these plans will place local business representative organisations, such as local chambers of commerce, in the lead, to ensure employers’ skills needs are being met. This Government will also launch a strategic development fund to support the changes to local provision required to help providers meet the priority local skills needs that employers identify.
This is a really significant moment for Further Education in our country. The White Paper builds upon the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announced by the Prime Minister in September, which will help people of all ages to access learning and retraining, with flexible finance available to all adults and more access to free qualifications. The Government will be rolling out the new T Levels, so that 24 courses will be offered by 2023 - giving the option of a high-quality, advanced technical equivalent to A Levels. T Levels will support a pipeline of young people with the technical skills to progress into areas such as green energy and advanced manufacturing, meeting the rapidly changing needs of the labour market. There is a total capital funding commitment to support T Levels of over £250 million, and this Government is investing £1.5 billion to upgrade further education colleges so students have access to high quality buildings and facilities.
This Government also recognises the importance of impartial, lifelong careers advice and guidance will be available to people when they need it, regardless of age, circumstance, or background. Therefore, the Government will be improving both local and national alignment between The Careers & Enterprise Company and the National Careers Service to create a clear, all-age careers system.
This is great news for Mid Worcestershire, and the entire country. This Government's reforms will transform the whole skills system and make it more flexible, building back better from the coronavirus pandemic, creating opportunities for individuals, and enabling this country to compete internationally with the best.
To read more about the announcement, please follow this link.