- Students to benefit from £48 million investment to expand high-quality alternatives to traditional degrees
- Colleges and schools to receive share of £140 million to transform their facilities
- Part of a significant ongoing Government investment to plug skills gaps and boost the economy
Students up and down the country are set to benefit from more opportunities to embark on a high-quality alternative to a traditional degree, as part of a major investment in skills so people can access training to secure great jobs and grow the economy.
The £48 million Skills Injection Fund (SIF) is being launched today to boost the rollout of Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs). HTQs are technical courses at levels 4 and 5 which equip students from all backgrounds with the high-quality, higher-level skills needed to secure well-paying jobs, like software developer or construction site supervisor. They also help to meet local labour market needs and boost local economies. The new investment will allow colleges and other providers to deliver more HTQs by funding specialist equipment, facilities, and upskilling staff.
Meanwhile, more than 40 schools and colleges will receive a share of £140 million to transform their facilities to meet demographic increases in young people aged 16 to 19. This could include building more classroom space or technical teaching facilities, so that more students have access to high quality learning environments and projects that will set them on a path to success.
Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said:
“Supporting people from all backgrounds to embark on high-quality technical courses, armed with the skills they need to climb the ladder of opportunity, is crucial to building a world-class skills nation.
“Boosting funding to support the delivery of Higher Technical Qualifications and ensuring that schools and colleges have the space they need to provide all students with top notch training is essential to achieving parity of esteem with traditional degrees and plugging skills gaps in key sectors.”
The rollout of HTQs is a key part of the Government’s post-18 skills reform to grow high-quality Level 4 and 5 qualifications, building towards the Lifelong Loan Entitlement. The previous round of the SIF distributed over £21 million to 85 providers, boosting skills training across the country. This includes Manchester City College which used the funding to build a digital lab contributing to the growing media and TV sector.
Further Education colleges and other providers have been invited to apply for a share of the Skills Injection Fund, with new courses starting September 2024. This includes courses in Education & Childcare and Engineering & Manufacturing which will help to produce a pipeline of talent that will plug skills gaps in these key sectors.
Both rounds of funding are part of the Government’s plans to transform technical education and training to ensure that young people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to gain the skills they need to succeed and provide local employers with access to the skilled workforce they need to grow. This builds on the £165 million Local Skills Improvement Fund announced earlier this month, which will provide tailored funding to plug local skills gaps across the country. These transformative measures will revolutionise skills training to meet local needs and help fulfil the Prime Minister’s priority of boosting the economy.