Government to invest another £3.8bn in boosting the nation’s skills base

Total spending on skills will increase during this Parliament – by £3.8bn by 2024-25 – equivalent to a cash increase of 42% compared to 2019-20.

As confirmed today, this funding will quadruple the number of places on Skills Bootcamps, expand the Lifetime Skills Guarantee on free Level 3 qualifications, and improve numeracy skills through the Government’s new “Multiply” programme.

Multiply is intended to help up to 500,000 adults improve their numeracy to enhance their employment prospects.

In England, this will particularly help people in the North East, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the
Humber, which currently have the highest proportion of adults with low numeracy.

There is an additional £1.6bn by 2024-25 for 16-19 year-olds’ education in England. It means colleges will be funded for the 110,000 extra students they will be teaching by 2024-25, and provides additional hours in the classroom for up to 100,000 T Levels students.

It also funds 40 additional hours of learning per student per year for 16-19 year-olds

There is funding to open 20 Institutes of Technology and for upgrades to the Further Education college estate across England.

Apprenticeships funding will increase to £2.7bn by 2024-25 – the first increase since 2019-20.

The Government says it is continuing to meet 95% of the apprenticeship training cost for employers who do not pay the Apprenticeship Levy and delivering apprenticeship system improvements for all employers.

It is extending the £3,000 apprentice hiring incentive for employers until 31 January 2022 and expanding the Lifetime Skills Guarantee so more adults can access retraining opportunities.

And funding for the Help to Grow schemes will help SMEs improve their productivity through management skills training and support for digital adoption.

£500m from the Government’s new Health and Social Care levy will fund spending on the skills, qualifications and wellbeing of the care workforce.

Meanwhile a “Scale-Up” Visa system will make it quicker and easier for fast-growing businesses to bring in highly-skilled individuals from overseas.

It will help “identify, attract and relocate the best global talent in key science and tech sectors” Chancellor Rishi Sunak said.

He said this is “all part of our plan to make our visa system for international talent the most competitive in the world.”

Responding to the budget, Mark Dawe, CEO of Selby-based training provider The Skills Network, said: “Adult skills and education is woefully underfunded.

“The Government’s priorities should start with level 2 and level 3 learning, English and Maths, English to Speakers of Other Languages, and focus on priority sectors.

“The budget should be geared towards helping sort the care crisis, up skilling the current workforce, helping people into the workforce, helping people switch sectors and more.”

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