PM Announces Free Courses For Adults Without A-Levels To Retrain For Post-COVID Employment

By Rachael Grealish

Adults in England, without A-Levels, will be given the chance to retrain for a post-COVID world with free college courses.

The new scheme, called the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, was announced today, Tuesday September 29, by the Prime Minister while speaking at Exeter College Construction Centre.

From April 2021, in England, adults of all ages, without A-Levels or equivalent, will be offered the chance to undertake college courses paid for through the National Skills Fund.

During his speech Boris Johnson not only announced the launch of the courses, but also said there will be a transformation in the training and skills system as higher education loans will also be made more flexible.

In his speech he said: “Alas as Rishi [Chancellor of the Exchequer] said, we cannot save every job. But what we can do is give everybody, give people the skills to find and create new and better jobs.”

He went on to add: “We’re transforming the foundations of the skills system so everyone has the chance to train and retrain.”

The PM said the scheme will not only change the ways in which adults can undertake further and higher education, but work to ‘expand apprenticeships’.

He said: “Through our Lifetime Skills Guarantee, we’ll upgrade Further Education colleges across the country with huge capital investment;

“We’ll expand apprenticeships, making it easier to get a high quality apprenticeship, and connect them better to local employers who know where the jobs of the future are going to emerge;

“We’ll fund free technical courses for adults equivalent to A level, and extend our digital boot camps;

“We’ll expand and transform the funding system so it’s as easy to get a loan for a higher technical course as for a university degree, and we’ll enable FE colleges to access funding on the same terms as our most famous universities;

“And we’ll give everyone a flexible lifelong loan entitlement to four years of post-18 education — so adults will be able to retrain with high level technical courses, instead of being trapped in unemployment.”

A full list of courses available through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee is yet to be released.