More mechanics to be trained via radical further education shake-up?

Published:  29 September, 2020

A radical shake-up of the adult education system in England being promised by the Prime Minister could result in a wider pool of talent being able to train as mechanics for the garage sector post-Coronavirus.

Today (Tuesday 29 September), Boris Johnson allocated an already-announced £2.5billion boost to England’s National Skills Fund to the what he dubbed the "lifetime skills guarantee.” This will assure anyone over 18 access to college courses for retraining. From April, those without a A-Level or equivalent qualification will be given the option of taking up for free a fully funded college course.

The move, aimed at mobilising millions in low-skilled work whose jobs may disappear once the furlough ends, will make it easier for older people to change career and retrain. Previously, access to funding over the age of 23 has been severely limited.

This will also create more entry points to a number of industries beyond the traditional apprenticeship route. Higher education loans will also be made more accessible.

At the same time, apprenticeship will also be supported, with more funding for small and medium sizes businesses looking to engage apprentices.

Speaking at Exeter College where he announced the new measures, the Prime Minister said: “We will be expanding apprenticeships, reforming the system so that unspent funds can be used more easily to support apprenticeships not just in big companies, but in the SMEs where there is so much potential for job creation.”

He added: “We are short of skilled construction workers, and skilled mechanics, and skilled engineers, and we are short of hundreds of thousands of IT experts. And it is not as though the market does not require these skills. The market will pay richly”.

More detailed information will be made available during October.

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