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Lifelong Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 51598, tabled on 20 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to promote lifelong learning.

Answered on

30 September 2021

The government is investing £2.5 billion in the National Skills Fund in England.

Since 1 April 2021, the government is supporting adults who do not hold A level equivalent or higher qualifications to access over 400 funded level 3 courses, with Free Courses for Jobs. This offer is a long-term commitment, backed by £95 million from the National Skills Fund in year one.

Complementing this support for adults, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks to give people the opportunity to build up sector specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. The department is expanding the Skills Bootcamp programme across the country during 2021/22 financial year, with £43 million from the National Skills Fund. There will be digital Skills Bootcamps available in each English region and a wide coverage of technical Skills Bootcamps. We are also delivering Skills Bootcamps in retrofit construction skills to support the green industrial revolution.

From 2025, the department will introduce a Lifelong Loan Entitlement equivalent to 4 years of post-18 education. People will be supported to study throughout their life, with the opportunity to train, retrain and upskill as needed in response to changing skills needs and employment patterns. It will help transform post-18 study, delivering greater parity between further and higher education.

The department is continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB), investing £1.34 billion in the 2021/22 financial year. The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to support adults to gain the skills required for work, apprenticeships or further learning.