To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many adults received training directly funded by the National Skills Fund in 2020; and how many people are projected to receive that training in 2021.
1 March 2021
From April 2021, the government is investing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) in the National Skills Fund. In November 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced £95 million funding for a new level 3 adult offer and £43 million for Skills Bootcamps at the Spending Review, for the financial year 2021/2022. The National Skills Fund is a significant investment and has the potential to deliver new opportunities to generations of adults who may have been previously left behind.
The level 3 adult offer will support any adult aged 24 and over, who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification, equivalent to 2 A-levels, an advanced technical certificate or diploma, to access around 400 fully funded courses. This new national offer will benefit tens of thousands of adults in the first year. We are engaging with providers and further education stakeholders to support readiness to deliver from April 2021. We are working with the sector to understand barriers and how we can help to mitigate or remove these. We will monitor take-up from adults closely.
Complementing the level 3 adult offer, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. Skills Bootcamps have the potential to transform the skills landscape for adults and employers.
The first wave of Skills Bootcamps, which has been rolled out in 6 areas, is not funded through the National Skills Fund. We have seen high demand for Skills Bootcamps courses and by end of March 2021, we will have had approximately 2,700 participants.
From April 2021, we are investing a further £43 million through the National Skills Fund to extend Skills Bootcamps across England.
The government plans to consult on the National Skills Fund in spring 2021 to ensure that the fund delivers a step change in adult learning, preparing adults for the economy of the future.