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National Skills Fund

Question for Department for Education

UIN 136665, tabled on 8 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will consider expanding the National Skills Fund, to include Level 2 qualifications, in order to help tackle skill shortages in the specialist covered car transport sector.

Answered on

21 March 2022

The government is investing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) in the National Skills Fund. This is a significant investment and has the potential to deliver new opportunities to generations of adults who may have been previously left behind.

Training offers funded through the National Skills Fund, including the free courses for jobs level 3 offer and Skills Bootcamps, have been developed to boost the supply of skills needed by employers and provide adults with a clear line of sight to a job. This training is delivered primarily at levels 3-5 because the evidence has shown that these skill levels are in high demand in the labour market.

The free courses for jobs offer give eligible adults the chance to access level 3 qualifications for free. Complementing this, Skills Bootcamps offer free, flexible courses for adults, primarily at levels 3-5. They are co-designed with employers to respond to skill shortages.

In response to evidence of a national shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, we are investing £34 million to create up to 11,000 training places for Skills Bootcamps in HGV driving – these courses are at level 2. Since their launch in December, we know that many employers from the transport and logistics sectors are already benefiting from this offer.

Following the announcement at Spending Review of an additional £550 million for Skills Bootcamps over the spending review period, we will continue to expand the offer, ensuring that provision meets the needs of employers and the changing needs of the economy.

In addition, level 2 qualifications are funded through the adult education budget, which overall fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3.