On Wednesday 2nd February 2022, the Government published it’s highly anticipated Levelling Up White Paper.
Throughout the pandemic, the Government has consistently spoken of the importance of further education (FE) and skills in not only supporting the economic recovery but also in ensuring all young people, irrespective of their background can benefit from high-quality training and employment opportunities. With this rhetoric becoming common place in Westminster, it’s no surprise that its commitment to skills and FE is reinforced in this paper.
While there is an increased focus on boosting regional training opportunities and productivity, the bigger picture promises a significant increase in the number of people completing high quality skills training across.
“By 2030, the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high-quality skills training annually, driven by 80,000 more people completing courses in the lowest skilled areas.”
Inextricably linked to jobs and living standards, the Paper also suggestions how these skills interventions support the Government’s commitment to employment and ensures people can access quality jobs and progress in work. It also highlights the important correlation between skills and employment and mental health and wellbeing, which has been significantly impacted throughout the pandemic, stating “the mix and level of skills that make up an area’s human capital play an important role in driving prosperity and productivity,” and that “a lack of good jobs is also bad for people’s health and independence. Being out of work is associated with poorer health outcomes.”
Within the Paper are specific skills commitments to:
In its entirety, the Levelling Up White Paper, covers a range of issues from transport and infrastructure to culture, sport and health in addition to education and FE. The full Paper can be found here. The Department of Education’s response to the White Paper is available here.