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National Skills Fund GOV.UK

Overview

Starting this Parliament, the government is investing £2.5 billion in the National Skills Fund. The National Skills Fund will help adults to train and gain the valuable skills they need to improve their job prospects. It will support the immediate economic recovery and future skills needs by boosting the supply of skills that employers require.

The Chancellor announced £375 million for the National Skills Fund at the Spending Review in November 2020. This includes £95 million in funding for a new level 3 adult offer and £43 million to expand skills bootcamps.

Level 3 adult offer

From April 2021, any adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to a technical certificate or diploma, or 2 full A levels, will be able to access almost 400 fully funded courses.

Courses will be available in a variety of lengths, to support adults to get the skills they need to boost their careers.

This is part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announced by the Prime Minister in September 2020.

Sector subject areas and courses available

The courses on offer will deliver a wide range of skills in many jobs and sectors.

All of the qualifications have been carefully chosen to help adults improve their job prospects and meet the needs of the economy.

Qualifications will be available in:

  • engineering
  • building and construction
  • manufacturing technologies
  • transportation operations and maintenance
  • business management
  • public services
  • accounting and finance
  • medicine and dentistry
  • horticulture and forestry
  • health and social care
  • ICT practitioners
  • ICT for users
  • mathematics and statistics
  • science
  • agriculture
  • nursing and vocations and subjects allied to medicine
  • child development and wellbeing
  • environmental conservation
  • teaching and lecturing
  • warehousing and distribution

Information on accessing the offer will be available in early 2021.

We will keep the qualifications list under review to ensure that it responds to changing labour market needs.

Awarding organisations, Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Greater London Authority will be able to suggest additions to the list through the qualifications funding approval guidance.

19 to 23 year olds will continue to be eligible for their first full level 3 via the adult education budget and will be eligible for any additional qualifications made available through this offer.

Funding for providers

Full funding guidance for providers on the new level 3 offer will be published in the new year.

Skills bootcamps

As part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, the Prime Minister also announced the skills bootcamp programme.

Complementing the level 3 adult offer, skills bootcamps offer free, flexible courses of just 12 to 16 weeks. They give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

Subject areas

Courses are available to develop digitals skills including:

  • software development
  • digital marketing
  • data analytics

Skills bootcamps will now also include courses in technical skills such as:

  • welding
  • engineering
  • construction

Locations

Skills bootcamps are available in:

  • Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
  • Greater Manchester and Lancashire
  • Heart of the South West
  • Leeds City Region
  • Liverpool City Region
  • West Midlands

We will expand the skills bootcamp programme into other areas in 2021. An investment of £43 million from the National Skills Fund, will enable greater availability across the country and a wider range of course subjects on offer to meet the skills needs of local areas.

Register for a skills bootcamp

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