From education to employment

New teaching facilities as more people enter post-16 education

Teaching facilities across England will be extended and transformed for 16-19 year olds as part of a new £83 million investment in post-16 providers.

Demand is expected to increase for post-16 places as more young people continue with education or enter skills training. This investment will mean schools and colleges can continue to offer places to all young people who want them, increasing access to a range of education options, including A levels, T Levels, apprenticeships or traineeships, and ensuring young people can gain the skills they need to progress into a well-paid job.

Thirty-nine post-16 providers have been awarded a share of the multi-million pound fund, which will be used to build new classrooms, science labs, and extend teaching facilities. This builds on the extensive action under way, as set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper, to transform further and technical education and deliver the skilled workforce employers and the economy need, helping to level up skills and opportunities for more people across the country.

Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said:

Every young person should have the opportunity to gain the skills they need to reach their goals and go on to have successful careers.

This investment will boost capacity so we can make sure there is a place for every 16 to 19-year-old, giving them access to the high-quality learning facilities they need to succeed.

The programme will also support the government’s drive to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with all successful providers required to show how their projects will contribute to the target.

Providers benefitting from the investment include Sixth Form Colleges, FE Colleges, 16-19 academies and free schools, and a University Technical College (UTC). The funding will help make sure they can build extra capacity to increase their admissions in 2022 or 2023.

Successful bids include East Kent College Group (Ashford College), which will use their funding to build a new extension, creating an ‘engineering hub’ and additional space for business and IT provision, growing capacity for around 250 new students. Wyke Sixth Form College in Hull will build a new two-storey extension which will provide seven additional classrooms, as well as increasing social and learning space for students. This will allow the college to increase its capacity by 350 people.

Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, David Hughes, said:

Young people have higher aspirations than ever with growing numbers taking A levels, T Levels and other courses they’ll need for a successful career or further study. These capital funds will help a number of colleges increase the number of places on offer and are a really good investment by the country in its future.

James Kewin, Deputy Chief Executive, Sixth Form Colleges Association, said:

The Post-16 Capacity Fund is an extremely welcome development and we are pleased that so many institutions will benefit from the first round of funding announced today. As the number of 16 to 19-year-olds participating in education continues to rise, it is vital that 16 to 19 providers have the capacity to accommodate the increase in student numbers. The post-16 capacity fund provides invaluable investment to institutions as they prepare for the demographic increase in 16 to 19-year-olds, and the projects announced today will benefit young people right across England.

The Post-16 Capacity Fund is part of a wider programme of significant, long-term investment in the buildings and facilities the country needs to deliver world class skills training.

The Chancellor recently announced that the government will invest £2.8 billion of capital funding by 2024/25 so that students have access to the facilities and equipment they need. This includes further funding to support post-16 providers to build additional capacity for the rising numbers of 16 to 19-year-olds.

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