Yesterday afternoon (1 October) in the House of Commons, the Education Secretary, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, set out further details on the Government’s plans for the lifetime skills guarantee and post-16 education.
The lifetime skills guarantee will provide adults in England without an A-Level or equivalent qualifications from April the opportunity to take up a free, fully funded college course. Alongside this, the Government is also making higher education loans more flexible, allowing people to space out their study across their lifetimes and take more high-quality vocational courses. The Education Secretary commented that the lifetime skills guarantee “will help people to retrain and upskill” and that “This will be the backbone of our covid recovery and will enable us to come back stronger and build back better.” The Government is also providing support for employers to continue to take on apprentices, such as by making it easier for larger employers to transfer their unused levy funds to smaller employers.
Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, Member of Parliament for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, has welcomed the announcements from the Government. He commented: “as a former teacher and Further Education lecturer myself, I am passionate about providing people the opportunities they need to develop their skills at every stage of their lives and to improve social mobility. Despite the difficulties of recent months due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this Conservative Government is delivering on the promise to level up opportunity across the country.”
On Tuesday (29 September), Sir David also spoke in the House of Commons in the Statement on ‘Students’ Return to Universities’, where he highlighted how education is essential for opportunity and social mobility, and that the role of further education colleges is absolutely vital.