Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills

Written Ministerial Statement from Minister @GillianKeegan on adult skills and the £100 million National Retraining Scheme:

Today [13 Oct] I wanted to update both Houses on further policy developments we are making as part of our efforts to help boost productivity, ensure that businesses can find and hire the skilled workers they need, and help people to fulfil their potential. The impact of the current situation and the longer-term challenges we are likely to face have underlined the ever-present need to support all adults in gaining new skills that employers value, whether to progress in work or to boost their job prospects.

Last month the Prime Minister visited Exeter College and set out an exciting vision to make lifelong learning a reality, announcing new opportunities to help more people to realise their talents, develop new skills and pursue their careers. With that broader vision in mind, wanting to reduce complexity in the adult skills landscape and recognising the need to work closely with a wide range of key stakeholders and experts, we are integrating the National Retraining Scheme into the National Skills Fund.

The National Retraining Scheme will no longer continue as a separate programme but rather its work and learning will be rolled into the development of the National Skills Fund.

This will be reflected in wider communications around the National Skills Fund and our broader offer for adult skills. It will include the conclusion of the trials of the Get Help to Retrain service, a digital platform that helped adults identify their existing skills as well as new training options.

The findings we have gathered by testing Get help to retrain have already provided useful insights for the National Careers Service. This will help inform the further development of the National Careers Service website for people considering a change to their career.

The understanding and insights we achieved through high levels of research and comprehensive user engagement whilst developing the National Retraining Scheme have also produced a strong foundation for developing the National Skills Fund and other adult skills reforms. As both Houses know, the National Skills Fund is a long term, substantial investment of £2.5bn (£3bn included devolved administrations) that will drive adult retraining and support our ambitious agenda for reform to Further Education.

Our engagement with employers on the National Retraining Scheme ensured we were better sighted on the skills they need their workers to have, as well as the need for a more flexible approach to the delivery of skills.

Greater flexible provision was a clear need for both the employers and the individual.

Both of these factors have been central to the design and delivery of the bootcamps announced in the Prime Minister’s speech, which are a key element of the National Skills Fund offer.

The bootcamps will support local regions and employers to fill in-demand digital vacancies. The impact of the COVID crisis has shown that digital skills are in demand now more than ever, so these flexible initiatives will be instrumental in giving all adults the skills employers need. We are planning to expand the digital bootcamps to more of the country from Spring 2021 and we also want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.

The Prime Minister also announced, as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, that for all adults who do not currently have an A Level equivalent, we will be fully funding their first full Level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market.

Through our development of the National Retraining Scheme we have also undertaken qualitative research into online training tailored for adults’ needs. Our findings have shown that online training has the ability to deliver learning at a time and pace that would fit in with the busy lives that users have. It could also reach the more remote areas of the country where users might struggle to access provision at a time that works best for them. This has informed the development of The Skills Toolkit, which has recently expanded to provide access to even more high-quality, free courses, to help all adults gain the confidence and skills they need to move into new jobs, potentially in completely new sectors of the jobs market.

We remain firmly committed to working with industry, workers, and providers. That is why we plan to engage extensively with these groups right across the country through the upcoming consultation on the National Skills Fund.

Our strong evidence base, delivered through the National Retraining Scheme, is summarised in a key findings paper that will be published today. The paper sets out how the extensive learnings and evidence from the scheme will support our ambitious plans for levelling up across the country and help to ensure everyone can get the skills they need, at every stage of their life.

We will set out wider plans for adult skills later in the Autumn and we will update the Houses in due course. In the meantime, we will engage closely with stakeholders as we continue to develop detailed plans for the National Skills Fund, including considering what role the fund could play in meeting more immediate needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills

Sector Response

Sue Pember 20Sept 100x100Dr Sue Pember CBE, Policy Director, Holex, said:

"It is helpful to see DfE is going to merge the national retaining scheme initiative into the National Skills Fund but you do have to wonder why they didn’t create one fund in the first instance.  More important than the admin tasks of merging funds, there is now a pressing need to support adults who will be unemployed this autumn.

"The need for upskilling and retraining has never been so pressing and DfE need to release funds for retraining now and not wait until 1 August 2021.  I am also concerned about the idea that adults who are low skilled will be supported by the Skills Toolkit, although there is some good material on it, many learners do not have the digital capacity to access it.

"Without the wrap round of support for the learner and robust quality  procedures that include a role for Ofsted this will be another failed IT solution."

The national retraining scheme was announced in 2017 to help adults to retrain as the economy changes.

Documents

National retraining scheme: key findings paper

Ref: DfE-00188-2020PDF, 236KB, 15 pages

Details

The national retraining scheme has been integrated with the government’s new £2.5bn national skills fund.

This document covers:

  • what we learned in developing the national retraining scheme
  • how we are using this evidence to inform the national skills fund and other adult skills services

Published 18 July 2019
Last updated 13 October 2020 + show all updates

  1. Replaced the national training scheme document with the national training scheme key findings paper and removed 'National retraining scheme: associated projects'.

  2. Update with information about the latest rollout of the Get help to retrain service.

  3. Updated to show users in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and West Midlands Combined Authority areas can now test the 'Get help to retrain' service, which has seen increased functionality since its initial launch.

  4. First published.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page