Question to the Department for Education:
What steps his Department plans to take to implement the Government's levelling up agenda.
We are implementing an exciting and ambitious reform programme to level up the further education sector, ensuring it becomes a powerhouse that supplies the skills employers need, and equips young people and adults to have productive and fulfilling careers.
On 21 January 2021 we published the Skills for Jobs white paper focused on giving people the skills they need, in a way that suits them, so they can get great jobs in sectors the economy needs and boost this country’s productivity. Area based planning is a key focus; Local Skills Improvement Plans will be introduced to help providers to better serve the needs of their local area.
We are also ensuring people have opportunities to upskill and reskill at different points in their life by delivering my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee. This includes introducing a Lifelong Loan Entitlement from 2025, funding people for their first level 3 (A level equivalent) course, and short, flexible ways to train through employer-led bootcamps. These measures will be a key enabler in levelling-up for those who do not have university level education.
We have put in place a number of programmes and policies to address the long-term impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, such as the COVID-19 catch-up premium and the Skills Recovery Package, which is focused on supporting young people. This includes incentives for employers to take on new apprentices, tripling the number of traineeships, and a new high-value course offer for school leavers.