Ministers to offer ‘free college courses and digital boot camps’ in post pandemic jobs plan

Digital ‘boot camps’ will be offered to help people retrain and reskill after the economic fall-out of the coronavirus crisis, Boris Johnson is set to announce Tuesday.

The courses will be extended to sectors like construction and engineering next year.

Adults without an A-Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course from April – and can study at a time and location that suits them.

Higher education loans will also be made more flexible, allowing adults and young people to space out study across their lifetime. There will also be more apprenticeships, especially in technical areas.

Mr Johnson is planning to 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.”

It is part of a bid to encourage life long learning – and people picking up digital skills

The guarantee, according to Downing Street, will see adults without an A-level or equivalent qualification offered a free, fully funded college course to provide them with “skills valued by employers”.

This offer will be available from April in England, and will be paid for through the National Skills Fund – which will be topped up with an additional £2.5 billion.

A full list of available courses will be announced next month, Number 10 confirmed.

The Prime Minister is expected to add: “We’re transforming the foundations of the skills system so that everyone has the chance to train and retrain.”

Cases have risen in recent weeks in the West Midlands
It comes as the UK faces a major economic crunch as a result of the pandemic

As part of the measures, the Government plans to make higher education loans more flexible, allowing adults and young people to space out their study across their lifetimes, rather than undertake it all in three to four-year intensive blocks.

Ministers believe the shake-up will allow would-be students to take more high-quality vocational courses in further education colleges and universities, while allowing people to retrain for the “jobs of the future”.

These reforms will be backed by continued investment in college buildings and facilities, with more than £1.5 billion earmarked for capital funding, No 10 said.

Apprenticeship opportunities will also be increased as part of the Prime Minister’s plan, with more funding for small and medium-sized enterprises taking on apprentices, and greater flexibility in how their training is structured, especially in sectors such as construction and creative industries, the Government is set to announce.

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