As set out in the skills for jobs White Paper, we are implementing an ambitious reform programme. We are already offering free level 3 qualifications, skills boot camps and, from 2025, a lifelong loan entitlement that will ensure everyone can upskill to get great jobs in sectors that the economy needs.
South Cheshire College in my constituency has put forward ambitious employer-led plans to become an institute of technology, which will help address the employer skills gaps we have locally. That will deliver levelling up for not just Crewe and Nantwich, but the whole region. Can I encourage the Secretary of State to give his full support to its ambitious plans to become an institute of technology?
South Cheshire College, along with many colleges up and down the country, has demonstrated the real value and worth that further education can deliver, working in conjunction with the higher education sector. I am afraid I cannot be drawn into an early awarding announcement, but we recognise the real importance of such colleges and the obvious success that the early, first-wave institutes of technology are already having in the communities they serve.