Queen’s Speech to Set Out New Lifelong Loans, Skills and Training

Classroom - lifelong learning Queen's speech

THE GOVERNMENT’S new legislative programme will be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech today.

A Lifetime Skills Guarantee will be a central part of the Queen’s Speech. New laws will create a post-16 and adult education and training system aiming to enable people to train throughout their lifetime.

Lifelong Loans

The Lifelong Loan Entitlement will give everyone access to the equivalent of four years of student loans for higher-level study. The loans can be used flexibly across people’s lifetime, full-time or part-time. Loans can be spent on modules or full qualifications, for high-quality technical qualifications and academic education.

Currently, the student loan charges up to 5.6% interest – well above the Bank of England base rate of 0.1%.

Skills Accelerator

Employers will have a statutory role in planning publicly-funded training programmes with education providers, through a ‘Skills Accelerator’ programme.

The Secretary of State for Education, currently Gavin Williamson, will be given more powers to intervene in colleges that fail to meet local needs, and to direct structural change where needed to ensure the provider improves.

The new initiatives follow the introduction of T Level courses from September 2020.

Training Bootcamps

Intensive ‘bootcamps’ also offer training in areas such as coding and green construction retrofitting, as well as longer, qualification-based courses in subjects including engineering, accountancy and construction. Bootcamps have so far trained 3,000 people, with 14,000 more signed up to attend courses this year.

Almost 400 free courses are also now available to adults without a full qualification at Level 3, ranging from engineering to healthcare to conservation and backed by £95 million in public funding.

The government is offering cash incentives for employers of £3,000 for each new apprentice they take on until the end of September.

Career Ladder

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “I’m revolutionising the system so we can move past the outdated notion that there is only one route up the career ladder, and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to retrain or upskill at any point in their lives.”

A third of working-age undergraduates are not in highly skilled employment, and in 2019 employers were unable to fill a quarter of their vacancies due to a lack of employees with the right skills.

The Government will introduce the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill today.

>> Read more about the ‘lifetime skills guarantee’ in the news

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