Post-16 education is at the heart of the current government’s plans for economic recovery and its wider “levelling up” agenda. Significant change is on the way, highlighted by the Skills for Jobs White Paper and the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.
Within this context we wanted to understand the impact of the coming reforms. What could they mean for learners, providers, higher education institutions, and employers across England? We also sought to understand the impact of these changes in the context of the unprecedented challenges the country faces in maintaining jobs, boosting productivity, and economic growth.
The four papers focus on the following key areas of post-16 policy:
- 16-19 qualifications
- Higher Technical Education
- Lifetime Skills Guarantee
- Lifelong Loan Entitlement
The papers draw upon desk research, policy roundtables (with employers, education establishments, representative bodies, and politicians), and public polling over the last six months.
Our Spotlight on Workforce Skills report sets out findings and recommendations from this research.
- The post-16 system risks misalignment with the demands of the labour market and needs to be more agile to respond to shifting skills and employment patterns. The level 3 reforms could exacerbate this by removing high quality qualifications that are recognised and valued by employers.
- Extending training funding to those looking to reskill, not just upskill, will help meet the rapidly changing needs of firms in a particular region.
- Currently only those without a level 3 (A level equivalent) qualification can have access to the funding entitlement to take a level 3 course – this needs to change so that those already with a level 3 qualification can also have the opportunity to reskill.
- Giving local leaders more say over the allocation of funding will support the education and training system in better meeting the needs of employers and jobseekers in regions across England.
For more on these and other recommendations see the full report.