The government has launched its 'Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunities and Growth' White Paper, with a clear focus on the pivotal role that further and technical education has in helping people get skills for good jobs now and in the future.

The White Paper will be used by government to set out their proposals for future legislation.

Part of the government's 'Plans for Jobs', it recognises the importance of colleges in boosting productivity, strengthening communities, and supporting individuals.

The measures put forward include:

  • business groups working alongside colleges to develop skills plans to meet local training needs
  • a £65m development fund to establish new college business centres
  • giving employers a central role in designing almost all technical courses by 2030, ensuring education and training is linked to skills needed
  • boosting the quality and uptake of higher technical qualifications by introducing newly approved qualifications from September 2022
  • changing the law so that from 2025 people can access flexible student finance to train and retrain throughout their lives

Penny Wycherley, Interim Principal and CEO of Highbury College, said: “We are delighted that today’s White Paper puts skills at the heart of the pandemic build back, and recognises the vital role that colleges and further education will play in supporting the economic prosperity of the nation in the coming months and years.

“Colleges have shown throughout the pandemic an unerring focus on the students, employers and communities we serve – this package shows that the government trusts us to deliver an ambitious and much-needed boost to skills which are vital for our changing economy and labour markets.

“Colleges have been calling for this, after years of being overlooked and underutilised, but government has to not only recognise the vital college role, it also needs to increase funding.”

As part of the White Paper process, government will now consult and discuss with interested and impacted groups, often with the chance for amendments to be made before a Bill is presented to Parliament later this year.

Article Details

  • Date 21/01/2021