We are doing everything we can to help people through this tough time. Further education is at the heart of our response. We are investing £4.5 billion to give employers and individuals the skills they need to improve their competitiveness now and in the future. We have recently announced:
£83 million to provide training for a further 75,000 people who have been unemployed for six months or more;
£158 million to support those looking for work;
£140 million expansion of 35,000 apprenticeship places;
£350 million improved flexibilities in Train to Gain for bite-sized courses for SMEs;
A trebling of the number of Professional Career Development Loans available so that up to 45,000 learners a year can use loans as a way to finance reskilling; and
Greater flexibility in how colleges and providers use their funding below Level 2.
‘FE Works’, a good practice guide recently published by the Association of Colleges, provides further examples of ways the sector is responding to the economic downturn.