LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed “radical” changes to the adult education system in England to help boost the post-Covid economy. He said the pandemic had “massively accelerated” changes to the world of work, and made training gaps “painfully apparent”.
He said funding changes could help end the “bogus distinction” between academic and practical learning. According to a BBC report, speaking at a further education college in Exeter, Mr Johnson said there was currently not “anywhere near enough” support for people who don’t attend university.
He added that the government cannot “save every job” amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but wants to help people find new work. The prime minister announced that adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification will be offered a fully funded college course.
Funding for courses offering “skills valued by employers” will be made available from next April, and a full list of the courses will be announced next month.
The announcement comes amid fears that unemployment is set to grow, as the economy slumps in the wake of the pandemic.
Mr Johnson said the pandemic had “compressed” a “revolution” to the jobs market caused by trends such as online shopping.
He added that although some jobs would fall away, he wanted people to take advantage of “new opportunities opening up with dizzying speed”.
Labour said the plans would not reverse the impact of “a decade of cuts”. Labour accuses Mr Johnson of “not understanding his own rules” after he failed to clarify whether the new rules also extend to pub gardens.