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Mayor and Business Board Chairman react to the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper


Mayor and Business Board Chairman react to the Government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper

The Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has welcomed the Government’s “bold and ambitious” Skills for Jobs White Paper and the Chairman of the Business Board has said he is delighted the paper puts “the needs of businesses at the heart of further education”.

The Skills for Jobs White Paper sets out landmark reforms that will transform post-16 education and training, boost skills and get more people into work.

The measures announced today will put an end to the illusion that a degree is the only route to success and a good job, and that further and technical education is the second-class option. Instead, they will supercharge further and technical education, realigning the whole system around the needs of employers, so that people are trained for the skills gaps that exist now, and in the future, in sectors the economy needs, including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.

 Measures include:

• Business groups working alongside colleges to develop tailored skills plans to meet local training needs; supported by a £65 million Strategic Development Fund to put the plans into action and establish new College Business Centres to drive innovation and enhanced collaboration with employers.

• Giving employers a central role in designing almost all technical courses by 2030, to ensure that the education and training people receive is directly linked to the skills needed for real jobs.

• Boosting the quality and uptake of Higher Technical Qualifications – that provide the skills that many employers say they need and that can lead to higher wages – by introducing newly approved qualifications from September 2022 supported by a government-backed brand and quality mark.

• Changing the law so that from 2025 people can access flexible student finance so they can train and retrain throughout their lives, supported by funding in 21/22 to test ways to boost access to more modular and flexible learning.

• Launching a nationwide recruitment campaign to get talented individuals to teach in further education and investing in high quality professional development including a new Workforce Industry Exchange ProgrammMaye.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough James Palmer said:

“I am really excited by the bold and ambitious plans set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper; the direction of travel set out in the paper is an exciting one which can really benefit the region.

“By working with Government and education providers the Combined Authority can help to ensure everyone across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough can get the skills they need, when they need them, and secure better jobs.

“ARU Peterborough demonstrates exactly how this model works in practise, jointly with ARU we are currently engaging with employers to ensure the new university is employer-focused and giving businesses the chance to shape the future of education.

“It is great to see this model at the heart of the reforms announced today, it has the potential to be transformational.”

Chairman of the Business Board Austen Adams said:

“I am really pleased to see a paper that puts the needs of businesses at the heart of further education.

“Businesses being able to access the skills they need to scale-up and grow will be vital to rebuilding the local and national economy after COVID-19.

“We are very lucky to have some great businesses across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, who have the potential to be the catalyst for our economic recovery, but they need the right skills and training provision to unlock their growth potential.

“By focusing on skills for the workplace we can remove the barriers facing business leaders and instead help them to grow, succeed and create good jobs for local people”.