Rishi Sunak to announce £3 billion of investment into skills and education
Some £3 billion of investment into education set to be announced in the Budget will give people “the skills they need to earn more and get on in life”, the Chancellor has said.
Rishi Sunak is expected to give a cash injection to both post-16 education but also to adults later in life.
Mr Sunak will announce the number of skills boot camps in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and nuclear will be quadrupled.
While £1.6 billion will provide up to 100,000 16- to 19-year-olds studying for T-levels, technical-based qualifications, with additional classroom hours.
Some 24,000 traineeships will also be created.
The package is expected to be part of measures announced at next week’s Budget and spending review.
Mr Sunak said: “Our future economic success depends not just on the education we give to our children but the lifelong learning we offer to adults.
“This £3 billion skills revolution builds on our plan for jobs and will spread opportunity across the UK by transforming post-16 education, giving people the skills they need to earn more and get on in life.”
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi added: “We are supporting people to gain the skills they need to secure great jobs.
“Our skills reforms and this additional investment will support more people to continue to upskill and retrain throughout their lives and open the door to careers in high-skilled industries.”
Existing colleges in England are to be allocated £830 million with extra funding for new equipment and facilities.
The National Skills Fund will be boosted with a total investment of £550 million to quadruple the number of places on the skills boot camps, which are available for adults of any age.
Mr Sunak will also announce the expansion of free Level 3 courses for adults, which are equivalent to A-levels, in subjects like maths, chemistry and biology.
Apprenticeship funding will also increase by £170 million to £2.7 billion in 2024/25.
Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “This money is welcome and post-16 training and skills for employment is important. But the learning and experiences children and young people have had earlier in their lives, to help them get to that point, is also important.
“We need to see investment from Treasury next week into education the whole way through, right from the vital early years.”
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, added: “We welcome any investment in education but this pledge is sketchy and appears to be limited in scope.
“Post-16 education has been woefully underfunded by the Government for many years and while T-levels will work well for some students, they are untried and untested.
“We therefore also need to see more funding for the hundreds of thousands of young people who do A-levels, BTECs and other long-established qualifications. More investment is also needed in schools, early years and in education recovery following the Covid pandemic.”Published: by Radio NewsHub