Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

29 Sep 2020

Major Expansion of Post-18 Education and Training to Level Up and Prepare Workers for Post-Covid Economy


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
  • PM acts to boost productivity and help the country build back better from coronavirus

The Prime Minister has set out plans to transform the training and skills system, making it fit for the 21st century economy, and helping the country build back better from coronavirus.

Adults without an A-Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course - providing them with skills valued by employers, and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them. 

This offer will be available from April in England, and will be paid for through the National Skills Fund.

Higher education loans will also be made more flexible, allowing adults and young people to space out their study across their lifetimes, take more high quality vocational courses in further education colleges and universities, and to support people to retrain for jobs of the future.

These reforms will be backed by continued investment in college buildings and facilities - including over £1.5bn in capital funding. More details will be set out in a further education white paper later this year.

The coronavirus pandemic and changing economy is why the Prime Minister is developing a long-term plan to ensure that, as work changes, people can retrain, upskill and find new well-paid jobs.

In a speech on 29th September, the Prime Minister is expected to announce a new Lifetime Skill Guarantee. He will say:

‘As the Chancellor has said, we cannot, alas, save every job. What we can do is give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.’

‘So my message today is that at every stage of your life, this government will help you get the skills you need.’

He will add:

‘We’re transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain.’

Apprenticeship opportunities will also be increased, with more funding for SMEs taking on apprentices, and greater flexibility in how their training is structured – especially in sectors such as construction and creative industries where there are more varied employment patterns.

Highlights