The @LibDems are urging the Government to consider the Party’s Skills Wallet proposals, following the Prime Minister’s statement committing to change the adult education system in England to help boost the post-Covid economy.
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:
“Liberal Democrats have long called for greater equality between academic and technical education, and funding for adult education and retraining. We urge the Government to look at the details of our Skills Wallet proposals as they put meat on the bones of their new scheme.
“After the chaos which has characterised the Government’s management of our education system this year, we must see the detail of what is being offered and how it will be rolled out, in order to know if this will go far enough to meet the needs of future students and the sector.
“We also need to know what the Chancellor is going to do to help the three million people still excluded from any support and avoid mass unemployment, as well as what incentives he’ll create for investment in our industries – especially the green economy.”
The Liberal Democrats’ Skills Wallet
In the Party’s 2019 election manifesto, the party pledged to introduce new Skills Wallets for every adult in England, giving them £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives:
- The government will put in £4,000 at age 25, £3,000 at age 40 and £3,000 at age 55.
- Individuals, their employers and local government will be able to make additional payments into the wallets.
- Individuals can choose how and when to spend this money on a range of approved education and training courses from providers who are regulated and monitored by the Office for Students.
- Individuals will have access to free careers guidance to help them to decide how to spend the money in their Skills Wallets.
- Government will work with industry to identify skills needs and to evaluate and certify courses.
The Skills Wallet policy in the Liberal Democrats’ 2019 Manifesto was informed by recommendations from the Independent Commission on Lifelong Learning, on Personal Education and Skills Accounts.
In addition, the Liberal Democrats want to:
- Expand the apprenticeship levy into a wider ‘Skills and Training Levy’ to help prepare the UK’s workforce for the economic challenges ahead with 25 per cent of the funds raised by the levy going into a ‘Social Mobility Fund’ targeted at areas with the greatest skill needs.
- Develop National Colleges as national centres of expertise for key sectors, such as renewable energy, to deliver the high-level vocational skills that businesses need.
- Identify and seek to solve skills gaps such as the lack of advanced technicians by expanding higher vocational training like foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Higher Apprenticeships.