Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020 08:59 GMT

Government unveils college course funding scheme

The government has announced details of a new education scheme, whereby it will cover the costs of certain college courses in order to help people move into new jobs.

Setting out the scheme, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the initiative will help people get into work, amid fears of a jump in unemployment as a result of the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Other steps include making higher education loans more flexible to allow adults to space out study across their lifetimes, thus allowing them to retrain for new careers as the economy changed.

Funding for courses that offer “skills valued by employers” will be available from next April, with a full list of the courses set to be announced in October.

It is not yet clear what courses focused around the print or any related industries will be covered by the funding.

We are calling on the government to offer further support immediately

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) has praised the new scheme, but chief executive Joe Marshall says more is needed to help reduce unemployment in the short-term.

“New measures to transform the training and skills system and to prepare workers for a post-Covid-19 economy are urgently needed, and we are pleased that the Prime Minister has acknowledged this.

“However the scale of the problem we face means that it will not be fixed with this new measure alone, especially given that most of these new measures will come into play in April.

“We are calling on the government to offer further support immediately – we simply cannot wait for unemployment to worsen before acknowledging it. We look forward to seeing the further education white paper later this year which we hope will build on today’s announcement.”

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