Plan For Jobs - Lifetime Skills Guarantee

An estimated 11 million adults in the UK now have the opportunity to gain a new qualification for free, designed to help them to gain in-demand skills.

Almost 400 qualifications are available to take from today (1 April) - backed by £95 million in government funding in 2021/22 - as part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

This announcement is an important step in the development of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee which techUK hopes will help employers fill their digital skills gaps and support adults to boost their job prospects, not only during this time of economic uncertainty, but in the face of the increasing digitalisation of jobs.

As over 4.7 million people exit the furlough scheme later this year, there is an urgent need to reskill people for a different labour market. This may include pivoting people to the growing number of digital jobs. This presents a huge challenge as we do not yet have the infrastructure and resources we need to inspire, direct, retrain and reskill people. The idea to transform the skills system so everyone, no matter where they live, their background, at any stage of life, can gain the skills they need to progress in work needs to sit at the core of all future education policy.

These free qualifications for adults are an excellent way to boost career prospects and enable people to secure rewarding careers. As well as the free courses, as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, thousands of adults have taken advantage of new Skills Bootcamps which offer free, flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks covering areas including construction, digital and technical. Find out more.

Both industry and government understand that only a large-scale skills programme can safeguard jobs as we recover from this health crisis. During the 2008 recession many companies were forced to downsized and what we saw in many places was a jobless recovery—the economy came back but not all the jobs came back. Strong policy reform, not only focusing on displaced workers but also looking at youth employment, will be key to ensuring opportunities for all.

Next month techUK will launch a new report setting out how we think government, businesses and education providers need to come together to meet this challenge. Get in touch to hear more about this.

Nimmi Patel

Nimmi Patel

Policy Manager, Skills, Talent and Diversity, techUK

Nimmi Patel is the Policy Manager for Skills, Talent and Diversity at techUK.

She works on all things skills policy, focusing on upskilling and retrain. She is committed to embedding diversity in the UK tech pipeline from classroom to boardroom working with partners such as the Tech Talent Charter and the WISE Campaign. Nimmi also leads techUK’s immigration work, collaborating with techUK members and stakeholders to create an environment that attracts the best talent to the UK.

Prior to joining the team, she worked for the UK Labour Party and New Zealand Labour Party and holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Manchester and is currently studying MA Strategic Communications at King’s College London.

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