The West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, has welcomed the Government’s plans for a major expansion of adult education and training to level up the economy and prepare workers for the post-Covid economy.
The Prime Minister announced the plans yesterday (29 September) which include:
- Lifetime Skills Guarantee to give adults the chance to take free college courses valued by employers
- New entitlement to flexible loans to allow courses to be taken in segments, boosting opportunities to retrain and enhancing the nation’s technical skills
- Expansion of the recently launched Skills Toolkit – offering free courses to help people learn new skills to stay in work, or take up new jobs and opportunities.
Regional Mayor Tim Bowles said: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement on supporting those of all ages to acquire the skills and qualifications needed for our changing workplaces – which will help to protect and secure jobs and create more opportunities for people.
“I will be working with the Government to implement these plans in the West of England as quickly as possible, and add them to the package of measures I have already announced to drive our region’s recovery. The Skills Toolkit is a free tool for anyone to use to gain new skills, or improve and update their skills. The focus on higher level skills is particularly welcome as they are increasingly needed by employers in our region.
“Skills and training are at the core of our economic recovery. Whether that’s helping residents keep their jobs, find new opportunities or join the workforce for the first time. I’m determined that we build on the progress we’ve already made so every community can benefit from the extra investment and new opportunities we are bringing to the region.”
The Combined Authority is already coordinating the government’s support for young people announced by the Chancellor in the ‘Plan for Jobs’, ensuring that the region’s businesses are able to use the Kickstart scheme to provide work for as many of our 16-24 year-olds as possible.
The expanded Future Bright career coaching and support service is helping eligible individuals to develop their skills and progress their careers, alongside working with the region’s schools, colleges and training organisations to deliver the education, careers advice and skills support that our residents, businesses and local economy need.
This week, the West of England Combined Authority launched Workforce for the Future – a major new skills programme – supporting businesses to identify and address their skills needs through apprenticeships, internships and placements, and by upskilling and retraining their employees.
For more details on the Government’s skills announcement, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/major-expansion-of-post-18-education-and-training-to-level-up-and-prepare-workers-for-post-covid-economy