What is the UK Government doing to support learners now and in the future?

Covid-19 has had a huge effect on the education sector, including students. Those at key junctures of academia are being greatly impacted. With this in mind, it is important to look at the support available to help learners continue with their studies. The National Skills Fund and National Retraining Scheme are two policies that will bring about lots of opportunities within the Adult Education Sector. Likewise, the laptop scheme given approval on the 19th April 2020 will allow disadvantaged learners to continue their education.


National Skills Fund

The Government has committed to a new £2.5billion National Skills Fund to improve the technical skills of adults across the country. Due to be released by 2021 the scheme is currently under consultation. The government is taking the views of people and employers across England to understand what works currently and where improvement can be made.

The aim of the fund is to enable individuals to train and retrain over the course of their lifetime; and for employers and the government to increase investment and fill the skills gaps that hold back productivity at a local, regional and national level.


National Retraining Scheme

First announced during the autumn budget of 2018, the National Retraining Scheme is the Government’s new programme for helping retrain adults into other jobs. The aim is to support adults in retraining and the scheme will help meet the needs of businesses for a multi-skilled workforce in the future.

There was some discussion over the past weeks that the National Retraining Scheme had been superseded by the National Skills Fund. However it has now been confirmed by Gavin Williamson that both schemes are separate entities and will both be used going forward. The National Retraining Scheme is likely to become a core response to Covid-19 in the near future; with earmarks for the Scheme to help fund reskilling online courses for lifetime learning and for people who have been furloughed.

For more information see:



Laptop Scheme

The Department for Education has put measures in place to support the distribution of laptops and tablets for disadvantaged families, children and young people who otherwise may have been unable to continue learning remotely. This scheme which started on 19th April will also enable those eligible to receive access to the internet through a 4G hotspot device.

Digital devices can be requested for:

  • Care leavers
  • Children and young people aged between 0 to 19 with a social worker
  • Disadvantaged year 10 pupils


For more information see:



Future Qualifications

From August 2020 a new fully-funded legal entitlement will give adults the opportunity to develop their digital skills with our brand new Entry 3 and Level 1 Essential Digital Skills for Work and Life qualifications. These qualifications focus on bridging the gap between the digital first (individuals who own multiple digital devices and interact with online content on a daily basis) and the digitally disengaged (individuals who have little or no experience of using digital devices and accessing online content). Find out more about Ascentis Essential Digital Skills qualifications here.


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The future of Access to HE Programmes in the new FE and Skills environment

Ascentis in association with e-Memoir Suitable for Directors of Curriculum, Access to HE Managers, Planning and Funding Managers and Data Managers. Access to HE provision is an important part of the FE and skills offer for adults seeking to progress to HE programmes but it is facing significant challenges in the new FE and skills environment. The Skills and Post-16 Education Act and Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill as well as the reviews of qualifications at level 3 and below, greater devolution of adult funding, increased use of remote learning, and the introduction of T levels, will together put significant pressure on FE colleges and other providers to review their curriculum offer and delivery. This one-hour webinar will provide you with the most up-to-date information on the future of Access to HE in light of these changes, and some insights into how providers might respond. It will cover • The importance and scope of Access to HE programmes • Funding of Access to HE programmes – Adult Education Budget and Advanced Learner Loans • Implications of the levelling up agenda for delivery of Access to HE – upskilling and retraining • Effective delivery mechanisms, including flexible and online learning – actions to support learners • Future prospects for Access to HE, including progression into higher apprenticeships • How Ascentis can enhance your Access to HE offer

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