Training: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered at on 20 July 2020.

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Photo of The Earl of Shrewsbury The Earl of Shrewsbury Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide financial support to training and skills providers to ensure the provision of suitable resources to train, re-train and upskill those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.

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

We will continue to pay grant funded providers their scheduled monthly profiled payments for the remainder of the 2019/20 funding year and funding allocations for 2020/21 have been confirmed. Payments will be made in line with the national profile.

We have also invested £100 million to develop a National Retraining Scheme to support working adults prepare for future changes to the economy and to help them retrain into better jobs, and have committed £2.5 billion for a National Skills Fund over the course of this Parliament, which will support people to learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

We are introducing new T levels from this September – high quality, practical courses designed by employers that will provide a credible alternative to A levels and prepare students for skilled work or further study.

We are currently reforming and simplifying the qualifications system so that learners can easily find high-quality qualifications that give them the skills they need. With our proposals, any qualification, including existing ones, can be approved if they provide learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers need.

We have also been working across government to build a package of support measures to boost skills among those who will be hardest hit by the labour market impacts of COVID-19. On 8 July my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced measures across a range of targeted work-based training offers to support people to build the skills they need to get into work. This amounts to investment of £1.6 billion in employment support schemes which will substantially expand existing provision. This includes:

  • £111 million to triple the number of traineeships.
  • £17 million to triple the number of sector-based work academy placements.
  • Paying businesses to take on new apprentices – an extra £2,000 for each apprentice under 25 and £1,500 for apprentices over 25.
  • £32 million to help 269,000 more people receive advice from the National Careers Service.
  • £101 million for school/college leavers to study high value courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them.

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