From education to employment

Developing Skills For The #FutureofWork: Anne Milton discusses the roll out of T Levels and the National Retraining Scheme

Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Developing skills for the jobs of the future: Helping people develop the skills, and grow the qualification portfolio, so they’re ready for jobs that don’t exist yet.

You can look at that in two ways:

Young People: First of all it’s the people who are young now, so people who are coming up to 16. We need to make sure we’ve got the right courses and qualifications that they need.

Adult Learners: Then of course there’s also adults, who maybe need to up-skill or change their skillset.

T Levels for Young People

For younger people we have got T levels, which are coming in in 2020. The first three T levels will be in:

  • Digital
  • Construction, that’s designing, surveying and planning, and
  • Education and childcare

Starting in a small way with those but we will be rolling out more, each year the numbers will be growing.

That’s a great offer for anybody who’s young, and if any parents are listening to this, do take a look at our T level information online. They will be equivalent to three A levels, each T level is equivalent to three A levels.

It’s a way of young people getting the skills that will help them get into skilled employment, or maybe get onto an apprenticeship, or even go onto higher education.

So that’s what we do with young people, similarly with young people all reforms we made in apprenticeships are making sure that they get 20% off the job training, and in a way apprenticeships are a mirror image of a T level.

Apprenticeships are 80% on the job and 20% off the job, T levels are mostly classroom based. Critically, with these new T levels there will be around a 45 day industry placement.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to reform technical education, to give it the parity of esteem that it deserves, make sure we get a skilled workforce, and make sure young people can get a job.

National Retraining Scheme for Adult Learners

Then if we think of older people, maybe people already in work, of course quite a lot of older people are either changing jobs, or up-skilling within their job, within their employer through apprenticeships.

I’ve met lots of people who are 30, 40, 50, I think the oldest I’ve met was 55, who are doing apprenticeships with their existing employer to up-skill within the workforce, and that’s been quite important.

The other thing that we’re doing is we’re going to be launching a National Retraining Scheme. This is specifically aimed at people whose jobs are likely to be at risk of automation, to make sure that they get the skills as those jobs change.

We know that a significant number of jobs are not going to exist. There are going to be new jobs, that people are going to need new skills in order to undertake those.

We’re also doing other things for people who maybe didn’t do very well at school, who didn’t get a lot of qualifications. For instance, we know that one in five adults don’t have basic digital skills. So from 2020 there will be an opportunity for people with no, or low, basic digital skills to get the skills they need. In this day and age, even just to get on in your everyday life, you need to have some basic digital skills.

Get Help to Retrain: Encouraging people to match their CPD and lifelong learning to skills employers’ needs

We will be releasing this summer “Get help to retrain” which is a digital service to help adults understand what skills they’ve currently got. 

A lot of people aren’t aware of what skills they have, or how to explore alternative roles or jobs, and find out where they can get the training they need to redirect their job in the future.

We’ve been doing a lot of work to the National Retraining Scheme. I think people have got a bit frustrated, it’s taken a long time to come on stream. But, in fact it’s quite important to find out:

  1. What motivates people to undertake some new learning, or get some new skills, and
  2. It’s also important to find out what support they need in doing that.

Understanding Learners’ Support Needs

Lots of people now are familiar with work based online tests that they have to do. If you go and work in a restaurant or a bar, you usually have to do a health and safety online test.

If you are going to set up programs online, because online learning is great for lots of people, but of course lots of people start courses and then give up. We need to understand what support we need to put in place to make sure people don’t give up, and get that one to one support that they need as well. A lot of the early work for the National Retraining Scheme is making sure that we understand that well.

What we’re doing is we’re rolling it out, and changing the program as we go. The more we roll it out the more we will understand about what works for some people, and what doesn’t work for others, so that we can make sure that we’ve got something, some sort of training, some sort of learning that people can do, that they can stick at and they get the support they need.

I guess the key message is you’re never too old to learn something new!

For some people, if they’ve had a negative experience at school, some people can’t wait to see the back of their school or college. It is important to remember that it’s not always been a positive experience.

We need to make sure there are opportunities for people to do learning on the job as well, which is the ideal thing about apprenticeships. You’re not stuck in a classroom, you’re learning on the job, while you do the job, which is so important. Have a look online, see what’s available, there’s lots of opportunities.

Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Despite best endeavours to ensure accuracy, text based on transcription may contain errors which could alter the intended meaning of any portion of the reported content. Speakers have not had the opportunity for any corrections.

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