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Vocational Education: Employment Schemes

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL14604, tabled on 24 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what schemes are available to students on vocational courses to assist them in gaining employment.

Answered on

12 April 2021

The ‘Skills for Jobs’ white paper, published in January 2021, sets out our blueprint to reform post-16 education and training. It is focused on giving people the skills they need, in a way that suits them, so they can get great jobs in sectors the economy needs and boost this country’s productivity.

Building on the success of our flagship apprenticeships programme, we are putting employers at the heart of the system so education and training meets their needs. By 2030, almost all technical courses will be on employer-led standards, ensuring that the education and training people receive are directly linked to the skills needed for jobs.

A range of provision is already available for young people aged 16 to 24 to equip them with the skills and experience they need to progress, including Traineeships, which provide unemployed young people with employability training, work experience, English and maths.

We have also launched T Levels, which are a high quality technical alternative to A levels. With longer teaching hours and a meaningful industry placement of minimum 45 days, employer-designed T Levels will be excellent preparation for skilled work or further training.

In July 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a £500 million package of support to ensure young people can access the training, and develop the skills they will need to go on to high-quality, secure, and fulfilling employment including: incentive payments for employers to take on apprentices; tripling the number of Traineeships; and an additional £17 million in the 2020/21 financial year to support an increase in the number of sector-based work academy programme placements. This additional funding will enable unemployed individuals acquire the skills needed for local jobs.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer also announced £375 million for the National Skills Fund in the Spending Review in November 2020. This includes £95 million funding for a new level 3 adult offer which includes over 400 technical and vocational courses available from 1 April 2021 and £43 million for Skills Bootcamps, as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

Previously, only adults between the ages of 19 to 23 were eligible for full funding for their first full level 3, which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or two full A levels. From April 2021, any adult aged 24 and over who is looking to achieve their first full level 3 is now able to access a fully funded course which will give them new skills and greater prospects in the labour market

We have also introduced Skills Bootcamps, which are 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. Skills Bootcamps are open to all adults aged 19 or over, who are either in work or recently unemployed.