levelling up

What the Government’s levelling up scheme means for local skills

The Government’s Levelling Up scheme, which they initially announced in February, promised to focus on skills and education. With this in mind, many local businesses will be wondering how this will affect them. They will also wonder if they will benefit from this levelling up plan.

What the levelling up whitepaper states

In the whitepaper, the government states that there will be:

  • Twelve bold national levelling up missions, given status in law, will shift government focus and resources to Britain’s forgotten communities throughout 2020s
  • Biggest shift of power from Whitehall to local leaders in modern times announced; every part of England to get ‘London style’ powers and mayor if they wish to
  • Starting gun fired on decade-long project to level up Britain, with radical new policies announced across the board
  • Domestic public investment in Research & Development to increase by at least 40% across the North, Midlands, South West, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

The Government also promises that by 2030, the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high-quality skills training annually. A driving force of this will be 80,000 more people completing courses in the lowest skilled areas. There is a planned Investment of £3.8bn in skills by 2024-25 and a Lifetime Skills Guarantee in England. This will enable 11m adults to gain an A Level or equivalent qualification for free.

What this may mean for local skills

The government will overhaul the funding of courses and the governance of colleges in line with employers’ needs. The government will set up Local Skills Improvement Plans, together with supporting funding, across England. This will set out the key changes needed in a place to make technical skills training more responsive to skills needs. Nine new Institutes of Technology with strong employer links will be established in England. This will help to boost higher technical skills in STEM subjects. Local Skills Improvement Plans will also be rolled out with funding across England. This will give local employer bodies and stakeholders a statutory role in planning skills training in their area. This aims to better meet local labour market needs.

To harness talent and opportunity in disadvantaged areas, there needs to be further investment to expand short modular digital skills courses that focus on job readiness. These courses are a flexible, affordable and an effective route for learners to acquire productive digital skills that employers value. More modular learning can also drive life-long skill building and offer easier avenues for people transitioning between sectors.

Education and learning providers should work more closely with employers to understand and deliver programmes that develop the skill sets that employers need. Industry-led accreditation focused on job-readiness would act as a positive signpost to build employer and learner confidence in a market with more diverse provision.

While the Government is currently focusing on addressing the discrepancy between Further Education and Higher Education, it should also look beyond these traditional routes to consider new approaches to learning. These must also be fit for purpose for the 21st Century.

How CogniSoft can help

CogniSoft work with employability and training providers delivering case management systems for their employability and Apprenticeship programmes. For more information about how our case management system can benefit you contact us today.

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