To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the Lifetime Skills Guarantee is accessible to all low-paid workers.
30 November 2020
As part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, we will be fully funding their first full level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market. The offer will be funded from the National Skills Fund and offered from April 2021.
My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister has also announced skills bootcamps, which will be available in 6 areas across the country. The bootcamp training courses will provide valuable skills based on employer demand and are linked to real job opportunities, helping participants to land jobs and employers to fill much-needed vacancies. We are planning to expand the bootcamps to more of the country from Spring 2021 and we want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.
Through our lifelong loan entitlement we will also make it easier for adults and young people to study more flexibly - allowing them to space out their studies across their lifetimes, transfer credits between colleges and universities, and enable more part-time study.
Apprenticeship opportunities will also be increased, with more funding for small to medium-sized enterprises taking on apprentices, and greater flexibility in how their training is structured.
Alongside the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, the department has been working to provide further support in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. In his Summer Economic Update, my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced investment of over £500 million to deliver a package of support for people to access the training and develop the skills they will need to go on to high-quality, secure and fulfilling employment. The Skills Recovery Package includes:
- Apprenticeships: A new payment of £2,000 to employers in England for each new apprentice they hire who is aged 24 or below, and a £1,500 payment for each new apprentice they hire who is aged 25 and over, from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021.
- Traineeships: £111 million to triple the scale and reform traineeships for those aged 16 - 24 (25 with an Education, Health and Care plan) with additional funding available to providers in 2020-21 to support 30,000 new places. We have also introduced, for the first time, payments of £1,000 per trainee for employers who offer new or additional work placements (up to 10 trainees).
- Careers information, advice and guidance: £32 million over 2 years to help 269,000 more people of all ages receive advice from the National Careers Service.
- Sector-based work academy programme (SWAP): £17 million to triple the number of SWAP placements in 2020/21, enough funding to support an extra 40,000 job seekers with additional training opportunities and the chance of a job.
- £101 million for school/college leavers to study high value courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them.
The recent expansion of The Skills Toolkit means that people can now choose from over 70 courses, covering digital, adult numeracy, employability and work readiness skills, which have been identified as the skills employers need the most. These courses will help people stay in work or take up new jobs and opportunities.
In addition, the new Kickstart scheme is underway. This is a £2 billion programme which will create thousands of new jobs for young people aged between 16-24 who will be offered six-month work placements with wages paid by the UK Government.
The government appreciates the importance of adult education to improving people’s life chances. We will continue to explore options within adult education to aid the post COVID-19 recovery.