The Government has set out plans to offer free college courses to help the country ‘build back better’ from COVID-19.
Adults without an A-Level or equivalent qualification will be offered a free, fully-funded college course – providing them with skills valued by employers, and the opportunity to study at a time and location that suits them.
Higher education loans will also be made more flexible, allowing adults and young people to space out their study across their lifetimes.
This new arrangement will provide finance for shorter term studies, rather than having to study in yearly blocks.
When can I apply for a course?
Courses will be available from April in England, and will be paid for through the National Skills Fund. A full list of available courses will be set out shortly
Apprenticeship opportunities will also be increased, with more funding for SMEs taking on apprentices, and greater flexibility in how their training is structured – especially in sectors such as construction and creative industries.
Earlier this year the government launched its free online Skills Toolkit, helping people train in digital and numeracy skills. This is being expanded today to include 62 additional courses.
The platform gives people access to free digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills.
£2.5 billion is also being made available through a ‘National Skills Fund’ to help get people working again after COVID-19. This will also give those in work the chance to train for higher-skilled, better-paid jobs.