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Lifetime Skills Guarantee

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL15128, tabled on 20 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of the number of work-based qualifications included in their proposed Lifetime Skills Guarantee, announced on 29 September 2020.

Answered on

29 April 2021

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced last September, promises to help people across England to develop the skills that they need at every stage of their life as we build back better from the COVID-19 outbreak.

This includes the free courses for jobs offer as well as skills bootcamps, the Lifelong Loan Entitlement and improvements to quality and access for apprenticeships.

The free courses for jobs offer gives an estimated 11 million adults in England who are 24 and over, and do not yet have A levels or equivalent qualifications, the opportunity to take their first level 3 qualification for free. This offer is a long-term commitment, backed by £95 million from the National Skills Fund in year one.

Complementing this, 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.

Work-based learning is not currently an element of the free courses for jobs or skills bootcamps offers. However, as we build on these investments, we will soon launch a consultation to further develop the National Skills Fund to ensure that it delivers a step change in adult learning, preparing adults for the economy of the future.

The Lifelong Loan Entitlement will be introduced from 2025, providing individuals with a loan entitlement to the equivalent of four years of post-18 education to use over their lifetime. It will make it easier for people to do courses locally and to study and train part-time, acquiring the skills that can transform their lives. We will be consulting on the detail and scope of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement this year, working closely with employers and learners to fully understand their needs.