Tens of thousands of age 24+ will be able to benefit from almost 400 free courses next year

Government has confirmed that from April 2021, adults without A-Levels (or equivalent) will be eligible to study for a free Level 3 qualification, as part of its new Lifetime Skills Guarantee. All courses have been selected to ensure good job prospects, considering factors like wages, which skills are in demand by employers, and which skills are essential for society and the growth of key sectors.

There are nearly 400 courses on offer in a range of different sectors, from construction, manufacturing and agriculture, to digital, ICT, health and social care. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-skills-fund

In addition, new Skills Bootcamps offer flexible courses of just 12-16 weeks, giving adults aged 19+ the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. These are currently available in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, the Liverpool City Region, the Leeds City Region, Heart of the Southwest, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. If you live in one of these areas, visit your local authority website to find out more. In 2021, Skills Bootcamps will expand into new regions with even more course subjects on offer.

This announcement should be of interest to three key audiences:

  1. Prospective learners – the Level 3 offer is available to adults aged 24 and above without an existing Level 3 qualification (equivalent to A Levels) in England, whilst Skills Bootcamps are available to adults aged 19+ in six locations.
  2. Employers – Government would like to raise awareness of how these key parts of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee can help employers in key sectors fill their skills gaps and for them to encourage their staff to take advantage of the opportunities available.
  3. Providers – Government needs to support providers in preparing for increased interest in their courses, ahead of Level 3 qualification offer becoming available in April 2021.

Call to action:

  • Adult Learners – Find out more at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national- skills-fund

Contact the National Careers Service today for advice on your next step.

  • Employers – Find out more at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national- skills-fund
  • Providers -Visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-skills-fund to see the full course list

Why is this important?

Tens of thousands of adults will be able to benefit from almost 400 free courses next year, in the first major development in the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announced by the Prime Minister in September.

The fully-funded courses, ranging from engineering to healthcare to conservation, will be available to adults without a full qualification at Level 3 (A-level equivalent) from April 2021 to help them gain in- demand skills and open up further job opportunities.

Designed to help our country build back after the pandemic, the qualifications have been carefully chosen to help adults improve their career prospects and meet the needs of the economy.

This announcement marks an important step in the development of the Government’s landmark Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which will transform the skills system to ensure more people, no matter their age or background, can get the skills they need to progress in employment.

Backed by £95 million from the National Skills Fund, the new courses will be available from April to all adults without a full Level 3 (A-level equivalent) qualification and will open doors to new and better jobs.

This funding will not only enable thousands of adults to gain new qualifications and access better job opportunities; a proportion will also be used to support providers to scale up their provision to deliver the courses and meet the needs of learners.