The government has published a list containing hundreds of free courses available to adults up to the age of 23 without A-Levels available from April 2021 as part of its Lifelong Skills Guarantee.
This comes after plans were announced in September by the Prime Minister. Adults without an A-Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course – providing them with skills valued by employers, and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them.
This offer will be available from April 2021 in England and will be paid for through the National Skills Fund. A list of the available courses will be released shortly.
Offering a variety of options such as engineering, health, construction, and accountancy, this move is intended to boost the skills of adults for post-pandemic recovery. It is a long-term plan to ensure that, as work changes, people can retrain, upskill, and find new well-paid jobs. The Government has stated that these courses will be reviewed regularly to ensure that the courses offered to meet the demands of the economy as it adapts.
There is also a focus on apprenticeship opportunities, with more funding for SMEs taking on apprentices, and greater flexibility in how their training is structured – especially in sectors such as construction and creative industries where there are more varied employment patterns.
The government is also committing £8 million for digital skills boot camps; expanding successful pilots in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands and introducing programmes in four new locations.
From next year, boot camps will be extended to sectors like construction and engineering, helping the country build back better and support our refreshed Industrial Strategy.
The government launched its free online Skills Toolkit earlier this year, helping people train in digital and numeracy skills. This is being expanded today to include 62 additional courses.
£2.5 billion is also being made available through the National Skills Fund to help get people working again after COVID, as well as giving those in work the chance to train for higher-skilled, better-paid jobs.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
As we recover from the pandemic, we are focused on making sure that individuals and businesses can build back better than before.
Throughout our lives, we may all need to boost our skills or gain new ones. These free qualifications will help open doors to better employment opportunities for thousands of adults and support businesses to access the workforce they need to grow.
Our new Lifetime Skills Guarantee promises to help you get the skills you need at every stage of your life. I’d urge all those eligible to see what course they can take from spring next year and start thinking about their next steps.