On 26th October, my colleague, the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi MP, introduced the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill into the House of Commons, with the Bill's Second Reading taking place on Monday.
This Bill supports our manifesto commitment to reboot our training system, support public services, existing businesses and jobs of the future. It will underpin the PM’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, as part of the Government’s blueprint for a post-16 education system which ensures everyone can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives.
As the Employment Minister, I believe this Bill, alongside the wider reforms set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper, will help to create a strengthened and unified post-16 education and skills system which will increase productivity, support industries, give individuals opportunities to progress. Alongside our Kickstart scheme, Jobcentres and Work Coaches, we are continuing to support young people to upskill and get onto the career ladder.
The Government's reforms in this area, which were set out in the Skills for Jobs white paper and the Review of Post-16 Qualifications, are underpinned by five key principles:
- The need to put employers at the heart of the skills system to ensure that local provision meets local needs
- To ensure people can access training and learning flexibly through their lives and are well-informed about what is on offer
- To support the provision of high-quality, higher-level technical qualifications that can provide a valuable alternative to a university degree and meet employers’ skills needs
- To reform funding and accountability for providers to simplify how funds are allocated, give providers more autonomy, and ensure an effective accountability regime that delivers value for money
- To support excellent teaching in further education.
This will help to create a strengthened and unified post-16 education and skills system which will benefit individuals, the economy, and the nation.
These reforms will increase productivity, support growth industries, give individuals opportunities to progress in their careers and provide the legislative underpinning to support improvements to the post-i6 education system. They will also help in providing the skills needed to support the transition to a net zero carbon economy and to recover our natural world.
On a local level, the reopened Haywards Heath College, and the brilliant College group it’s aligned to, will help deliver a better joined up post-16 education system, which is what employers and student want to see.