Department for Education written question – answered on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure employees of all ages are gaining new skills.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are working with employers to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes which will develop the skills that individuals of all ages need to be successful and that employers want.

These include apprenticeships, with our reforms benefiting people of all ages and backgrounds, including adults developing their skills.

This also includes Adult Education Budget (AEB) funded provision. The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3 (including traineeships) to help them gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

Advanced Learner Loans support clear routes into work, progression within work and progression to higher education (HE), by providing fees support for level 3 to level 6 qualifications. Access to multiple Advanced Learner Loans enables adults to progress or re-skill.

We are developing the National Retraining Scheme to support working adults to prepare for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation, and help them retrain into better jobs.

The government is also developing a new £3 billion National Skills Fund to upskill workers and prepare for the economy of the future.

Flexible and part-time HE also has a key role in terms of widening choice and participation. To reduce barriers for entering HE, our part-time undergraduate tuition fee loans are available to eligible prospective students of all ages. We have asked the Office for Students to continue to focus on part-time and flexible learning to deliver choice and flexibility.

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