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Gain new skills on 400 free courses next year

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Thousands of adults will be able to take free courses in engineering, health, construction and accountancy, and many other subjects.

The courses will be offered as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announced by Boris Johnson in September.

The fully-funded courses will be available to adults without a full qualification at Level 3 (A-level equivalent) from April 2021 to help them gain in-demand skills and open up further job opportunities.

The government says the free courses are designed to help the UK ‘build back better’ after the pandemic. It says the qualifications available have been carefully chosen to help adults improve their career prospects and meet the needs of the economy. They will be reviewed regularly so the courses offered can be updated as the economy changes.

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee aims to transform the skills system to ensure more people, no matter their age or background, can get the skills they need to progress in employment.

The offer is backed by £95m from the £2.5bn National Skills Fund, which is financing programmes that both support the immediate economic recovery and help meet future skills needs.

Boris Johnson, prime minister, said: “Despite all our efforts, coronavirus is damaging the economy and putting people out of work. But I am determined to help everyone who has lost their job to retrain, develop new skills and find new opportunities.

“The Lifetime Skills Guarantee will give thousands of adults across the country the chance to do exactly that – as we build back better after the pandemic.”

Gavin Williamson, education secretary, said: “As we recover from the pandemic, we are focussed on making sure that individuals and businesses can build back better than before.

“Throughout our lives we may all need to boost our skills, or gain new ones. These free qualifications will help open doors to better employment opportunities for thousands of adults and support businesses to access the workforce they need to grow.

“Our new Lifetime Skills Guarantee promises to help you get the skills you need at every stage of your life. I’d urge all those eligible to see what course they can take from spring next year and start thinking about their next steps.”