Response from the Vice-Chancellor to the Prime Minister’s speech on education and skills
University of Salford Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall, has reacted to announcements on funding for education and skills from the Prime Minister.
In a speech at Exeter College, Boris Johnson announced a new package to boost skills training and level up opportunity across the UK, including:
- A new Lifetime Skill Guarantee;
- Changes to the funding model to allow FE colleges access to the main student finance system;
- The provision of a flexible lifelong loan entitlement to four years of education for every student;
- New funding to allow adults without a level 3 qualification to undertake a technical qualification to that level (this is currently only available to under 24s);
- Financial support to help SMEs take on apprenticeships;
- New rules to allow apprenticeships to be more ‘portable’ to allow apprentices to move from one employer to another and continue on their apprenticeship programme; and
- £8 million to expand successful digital skills bootcamps, including to build on a successful pilot in Greater Manchester.
Speaking in response to these announcements, Vice Chancellor Professor Helen Marshall, said:
“The measures announced in the prime minister’s speech today are an important step forward in creating an education and training system for the post-pandemic economy.
“The introduction of greater flexibility in the higher education loans system will not only provide greater choice for individuals learners at all ages, but it will allow the education system to be more responsive to the needs of industry. I am also particularly pleased to see increased investment in apprenticeships - especially the additional funding for SMEs - which is something the University of Salford and our industry partners have been calling for over recent months.
“At the University of Salford, we have always recognised that a traditional full-time three year undergraduate degree is not the right route for every learner. We were one of the first universities to introduce sandwich degrees in 1949 and we now offer a range of modes of learning, including degree apprenticeships, foundation degrees and accelerated degrees.
“We are also currently working with further education and industry partners to rapidly expand our existing portfolio of higher technical qualifications. This will help to level up opportunity across in Greater Manchester by providing much-needed routes to technical education for learners at all stages of their lives directly addressing the challenge of the ‘missing middle’ at level 4 and 5.”
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