The government is investing £2.5 billion in the National Skills Fund to help adults improve job and career prospects.
As part of this fund, adults over the age of 24 who do not currently have any level 3 qualifications (eg A levels, an advanced technical certificate or diploma) can now access fully-funded level 3 qualifications in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, horticulture and business management.
There are over 400 courses available across all sectors, which have been identified to ensure good job prospects. You can find more information and a full list of courses on the government website.
This offer is part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, which aim to transform the skills system so everyone, no matter where they live or their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives. It will also ensure employers have access to the skilled workforce they need, and that more people are trained for skills gaps.
Adults who take up the free courses have the potential to boost career prospects, wages and help fill skills gaps, while supporting the economy and building back better. Employers can benefit by supporting staff to upskill or reskill into a higher level role, without needing to fund the training.
Another part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee is dedicated to improving skills through ‘bootcamps’. These are a range of free, flexible, 12-16 week courses that will offer sector-specific training in digital and technical skills, such as data analytics and engineering.
The bootcamps provide a chance to learn specific skills and offer a fast-track to an interview with a local employer at the end.
These courses are currently only available in a small number of locations across England, although the locations and skills covered are set to increase through 2021.