Training: Manufacturing Industries

Department for Education written question – answered on 15th October 2020.

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Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to consult with the manufacturing industries on support for skills that will be required in those industries in the next 10 years.

Photo of Sarah Champion Sarah Champion Chair, International Development Committee, Chair, International Development Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to consult with (a) businesses and (b) local authorities on funding for employment skills needed in the future.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We want to make the skills systems more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally and we have been working with employers in all sectors including manufacturing to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes to do this.

Labour market information is important to understand futures skills needs and to inform consultation and debate with business, providers, learners and local stakeholders. The department provides quantitative labour market and skills projections for the decade ahead in Working Futures 2017-27, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/labour-market-and-skills-projections-2017-to-2027.

Working Futures helps to identify future skills needs and informs debates about how they should be met by providing detailed forecasts of employment by sector, occupation and geography including local areas. It is one of the main sources of data used by Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs).

SAPs will bring together employers, local authorities, universities, colleges and other training providers. These partners will work together to pool their knowledge and expertise and decide what skills are really needed across a sub-region. This will help ensure we match training to the jobs available in the local area.

The government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) for the National Skills Fund.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, announced that for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, 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. The offer will be funded from the National Skills Fund and offered from April 2021.

The Prime Minister, also announced digital bootcamps to support local regions and employers to fill in-demand vacancies by providing valuable skills. Adults in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and Liverpool City Region can now register their interest to take part in the digital bootcamps. In early 2021 the digital bootcamps will also be available in Leeds City Region, Heart of the South West and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. We are planning to expand the bootcamps to more of the country from spring 2021 and we want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.

The government remains committed to consulting on aspects of the National Skills Fund to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepare for the economy of the future. We are continuing to review the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are considering the most appropriate time and approach we can take to launch the consultation, ensuring we have meaningful discussions with employers, providers and users.

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