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More high-quality degree alternatives to boost adult skills and job prospects

More high-quality degree alternatives to boost adult skills and job prospects

EducationGovernmentTop StoriesUnited Kingdom

UK government reveals multi-million-pound investment to allow more people to gain higher level technical skills.

Adults will be able to access more, high-quality alternatives to university degrees under new measures to boost the nation’s skills and job prospects.

The package will help colleges and universities invest in new equipment that will support technical studies and boost training opportunities with businesses in areas such as digital and construction.

It will also create new, shorter courses for working adults in STEM subjects like engineering and manufacturing, giving those wishing to upskill or retrain greater flexibility in how and when they study.

Boosting the uptake and quality of Higher Technical Education – technical qualifications that sit between A-Levels and degrees – and supporting adults to study more flexibly throughout their lives is a key part of the government’s landmark reforms to post-16 education and training.

A major review of Higher Technical Education revealed these qualifications can unlock the skills employers need, can lead to well paid jobs and help support the country to build back better from the pandemic.

Despite this, only 4% of young people achieve a qualification at higher technical level by the age of 25 compared to the 33% who get a degree or above.

The funding will be invested from Summer 2021 to kickstart work to ensure more Higher Technical Education is on offer across the country, providing more people with high-quality alternatives to university degrees.

Barney Taylor, Managing Director, Europe at Ensono, said: “This funding announcement will be a welcome boost for Higher Technical Education, ensuring more young people can benefit from the unique blend of training and industry experience provided by these courses – vital experience as they start in their career. Taking the time to build key skills in young people is of huge value to any firm, creating cohorts of talented future employees with new perspectives that will drive innovation that is essential for business growth.

“It is excellent to see digital skills at the heart of this investment package. The pandemic has demonstrated the strength of the UK technology sector, leading the way in everything from data-driven healthcare to new frontiers in digital-first payments solutions.

“If the UK is to keep its status as a global leader in technology, Higher Technical Education need to form one part of a broader effort on the part of government and private sector to nurture the next generation of talent. We need to build a strong ecosystem of training, work experience and outreach that ensures opportunities in technology are open to all.”

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