York College

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22nd January 2021

York College welcomes the landmark reforms that will transform post-16 education and training, boost skills and get more people into work, as published in The Skills for Jobs White Paper, announced by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson (21 January).

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The Skills for Jobs White Paper is set to revolutionise post-16 education, to reshape the training landscape and help the nation build back better. It enshrines the Prime Minister’s new Lifetime Skills Guarantee, setting out a blueprint for a post-16 education system that will ensure everyone, no matter where they live or their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives.

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee will offer tens of thousands of adults the opportunity to retrain in later life, helping them to gain in-demand skills and open up further job opportunities. The measures will put an end to the illusion that a degree is the only route to success and a good job, and that further and technical education is the second-class option. Instead, they will supercharge further and technical education, realigning the whole system around the needs of employers, so that people are trained for the skills gaps that exist now, and in the future, in sectors the economy needs, including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.

The drive to place employers at the heart of the skills system comes as the Prime Minister launches a new Build Back Better Business Council, which will see business leaders working directly with government to fuel the Covid-19 economic recovery.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “In the years ahead, the reforms we have announced will deliver high quality technical education across the country – and help people retrain and secure better paid jobs. That way when we have beaten Covid-19 we can put rocket boosters under our recovery and Build Back Better.”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Our reforms to post-16 education will focus on the skills people and business need for our economy to grow. As we recover from the pandemic, our Lifetime Skills Guarantee will ensure everyone has the confidence and opportunity to gain the skills they need to progress at any stage of their lives. These reforms are at the heart of our plans to build back better, ensuring all technical education and training is based on what employers want and need, whilst providing individuals with the training they need to get a well-paid and secure job, no matter where they live, and in the sectors that are critical to our future economic success.”

Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said: “This is an ambitious package of measures which can deliver a significant shift in how we support the lifelong education and skills needs of more than half the population and ensure that employers have the skilled people they need. With funding over the coming years to match the welcome policy shifts, this should rebalance the education and skills system to make it work for everyone.

“I’m delighted that this puts skills at the heart of the pandemic build back, and recognises the vital role that colleges and further education will play in levelling up for people and places whilst tackling longstanding concerns about stagnating productivity. Colleges have shown throughout the pandemic an unerring focus on the students, employers and communities they serve – this package shows that the government trusts them to deliver an ambitious and much-needed boost to skills which are vital for our changing economy and labour markets.”

Lee Probert, CEO and Principal of York College says: “Already, there is significant action underway to transform the post-16 landscape at York College, including being part of the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology, rolling out pioneering new T Level qualifications and continuing to work with businesses to improve the quality of apprenticeships and traineeships so employers and individuals can access the skills they need. The Government’s White Paper signals that localities should plan to meet employer needs, I am delighted to have been invited to Chair the City’s Skills and Employment Board*, bringing together employers and providers to develop a skills plan for the City.”


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