Funding boost to support skills training

The Department for Education has stated that students across the country are set to benefit from more opportunities to embark on a high-quality alternative to a traditional degree.  This is part of what the department have called a “major” investment in skills ‘so people can access training to secure great jobs and grow the economy’.

The £48 million Skills Injection Fund (SIF) was launched 7 June to boost the rollout of Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs). 

HTQs are technical courses at levels 4 and 5 which equip students from all backgrounds with the high-quality, higher-level skills needed to secure well-paying jobs, like software developer or construction site supervisor. They also help to meet local labour market needs and boost local economies. 

The government said new investment will allow colleges and other providers to deliver more HTQs by funding specialist equipment, facilities, and upskilling staff.  

The Department for Education said more than 40 schools and colleges will receive a share of £140 million ‘to transform their facilities to meet demographic increases in young people aged 16 to 19’.

This could include building more classroom space or technical teaching facilities, so that more students have access to high quality learning environments and projects that will set them on a path to success. 

Minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education Robert Halfon said: “Supporting people from all backgrounds to embark on high-quality technical courses, armed with the skills they need to climb the ladder of opportunity, is crucial to building a world-class skills nation. 

“Boosting funding to support the delivery of Higher Technical Qualifications and ensuring that schools and colleges have the space they need to provide all students with top notch training is essential to achieving parity of esteem with traditional degrees and plugging skills gaps in key sectors.” 

Further Education colleges and other providers have been invited to apply for a share of the Skills Injection Fund, with new courses starting September 2024. This includes courses in ‘Education & Childcare’ and ‘Engineering & Manufacturing’ which will help to produce a pipeline of talent that will plug skills gaps in these key sectors.

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