Education is key in creating a productive economy as well as maximising the opportunities for future generations. It is vital we are supporting the right mix of skills and delivering for all young people so that they can reach their potential, regardless of their background.
The Government recently announced an additional £400 million investment in the provision for 16-19 year olds. Building on this investment, today I have set out a series of measures to ensure we have the opportunities and infrastructure in place to offer a world class education to everyone – so that more young people are supported to reach the level of qualification needed to access skilled employment.
We are making good progress in boosting higher level technical qualifications through our Institutes of Technology. Twelve Institutes are already being established across the country – backed by £170 million of government investment – to provide employers with the skilled workforce they need to drive growth and productivity across the country and get more people into rewarding jobs. To build on this, the Government will make available up to £120 million to enable every region in England to establish a high-quality Institute of Technology. We will launch a second competition with the aim of establishing up to 8 more Institutes in areas of the country that do not currently have access to one.
To continue driving up standards and support more disadvantaged young people aged 16-19 to study maths, we will open a network of 11 Maths Free Schools across every region of the country, including a new Maths Free School in the North East through a partnership between Durham University and Durham Sixth Form College. Maths Schools offer A levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics in partnership with top universities – helping young people, whatever their background, to fulfil their potential by learning from the best mathematicians.
Apprenticeships and technical education play a huge role in driving productivity and ensuring our country has the skills it needs. Today I have set out an ambition to boost further education over the next decade with an aim to overtake Germany in the opportunities we offer to those studying technical routes by 2029.
As we improve our offer of technical education, it will be important that we remain focussed on the right skill mix for the economy. We will establish a new Skills and Productivity Board to provide the Secretary of State with expert advice on how to ensure the courses and qualifications on offer to students are high-quality and aligned to the skills that employers need for the future.