Adults can retrain at advanced level in subjects vital to help the UK’s post-pandemic recovery for free from today (1 April 2021) as part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee. From this date, any adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve their first full Level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma or two A levels, will be able to access dozens of fully-funded courses via NWSLC. (Those aged 19 to 23 will continue to be eligible for their first full Level 3 at no cost as before).
At NWSLC, the offer includes full-time courses in the priority sectors of construction, engineering, automotive, digital skills, computing, and business as well as health and social care. Advanced level courses available to study remotely online on a part-time basis include accounting (AAT), management (ILM), autism, dementia, and mental health.
This offer is part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announced by the Prime Minister as part of a long-term commitment to remove age constraints and financial barriers for adults so that they can access training to enable them to progress.
Sally Denning, Director for Adult Education at NWSLC said, “We welcome the offer of support for adults who want to retrain or improve their current skills and are looking forward to signing up new students next month. We know that many individuals are facing challenging circumstances including redundancy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and hope that we will be able to offer them a lifeline with a route into a new career.
“The government is targeting support to those areas of the economy that are forecast to grow and are most heavily impacted by current skills shortages, meaning that job roles are likely to be available.
“Only last week we heard about predictions of a ‘catastrophic’ future digital skills shortage following the publication of a report by the Learning & Work Institute commissioned by WorldSkills UK that has highlighted the gap between the demand for AI, cloud and robotics skills. The message is further reinforced in a report on digital skills and the automotive sector commissioned by Coventry University and the Institute of Coding which highlights the demands of Industry 4.0 for analytical, data and research skills. Green energy and the construction sector are also set to see increased demand for skilled individuals and the pandemic has helped us all to realise the importance of the adult social care.
“Colleges are leading the way to help reenergise the UK economy and NWSLC is in a great position to make links between organisations that need skills and individuals looking for work, whether they are starting out for the first time, retraining to follow a new direction, or seeking support following redundancy. It is our mission to introduce skilled and work-ready individuals to employers across the region.”
NWSLC itself responded to the Government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ by launching its Community Skills Hub last year to provide access to all the information, advice and guidance that is available to support economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.
The NWSLC Community Skills Hub offer includes:
• Bootcamps in software development and coding that will open the doors to vacancies through our dedicated Digital Skills Academy
• A wide range of apprenticeship opportunities with support to find vacancies and succeed in interviews
• Pathways to the Kickstart job scheme for those at risk of long-term unemployment
• Free Level 3 courses for adults in priority sectors
• Free online short courses leading to Level 2 and 3 qualifications that help individuals to improve their skills or retrain
• Help with English and maths qualifications
• Ways to prepare for university and routes into higher-level study.
For more information visit our Community Skills Hub or call 0330 058 3000.