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Everything you need to know about the Skills Act

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We’re changing the post 16-education landscape to level up opportunities all over the country and make it easier for people to train to get the skills they need to secure well-paid jobs in industries with skills gaps, such as health and social care, engineering, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.

We want to ensure everyone has the chance to make the most of their potential and to get the training that is likely to lead to a satisfying job, helping to drive economic growth across the whole country.

That is why we are introducing a wide range of skills reforms underpinned by the Skills Act, which has now become law.

But what does this mean in practice? Here we answer your questions.

What is the Skills Act?

The Skills Act is a set of laws known as the Skills and Post-16 Education Act.

It's been debated over the last year in the Houses of Parliament. Now that it's law, it will begin to improve post-16 provision.

So what does it include?

There are several important measures introduced by the Act.

These include:

  • Prioritising local needs and local people
    • We are placing a legal requirement on colleges and other providers to work with employers to develop skills plans, so that the training on offer meets the needs of local areas, and people no longer have to leave their hometowns to find great jobs.
  • Supporting flexible study options
    • We are also supporting the transformation of the current student loans system so from 2025 learners can access a flexible loan for higher-level education and training at university or college, which they can use at any point in their lives.
  • Boosting the quality of education and training on offer
    • We are introducing new powers to intervene when colleges are failing to deliver good outcomes for the communities they serve.
  • Broadening careers advice for pupils
    • We will ensure all pupils meet providers of technical education so that they understand the wide range of career routes and training available to them, such as apprenticeships, T Levels or traineeships, not just the traditional academic options.
  • Prioritise green skills
    • We plan to prioritise green skills to help the training on offer across the country meet the needs of the growing green economy and helps gets more people into jobs.

Why is this so important?

This legislation will help everyone to gain the skills they need to progress into a rewarding job.

Employers will also have access to a pipeline of talented, qualified employees for their workforces – boosting productivity and growing the economy to address the cost of living.

What else are you doing to improve skills and technical education?

The Act underpins the government’s transformation of post-16 education and skills as set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper.

Employers in eight trailblazer areas across the country have already been working with local training providers to create skills plans that align to what local communities need. These plans are now being rolled out across the country, opening up more opportunities for people to gain the skills they and businesses need to succeed.

The new measures build on the work already under way to boost skills and get more people into better jobs, including working with employers to create more apprenticeship opportunities, establishing a network of Institutes of Technology and rolling out new T Levels.


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