National Training Scheme expands to three more regions

Children's minister Kemi Badenoch has announced an expansion of the government's flagship programme

Julia Belgutay

National Retraining Scheme to expand into more regions

The National Retraining Scheme is to be expanded to the West Midlands and the North East, children’s minister Kemi Badenoch has announced.

This follows the Get Help to Retrain digital service launch across the Liverpool City Region last month. The service is part of the government’s long-awaited National Retraining Scheme, set up to support adults to retrain and change their career path.

Get Help to Retrain is designed to help adults to identify their existing skills, explore the different types of jobs and find training courses to gain the skills they need to progress. Further support is also on hand from qualified careers advisers.

More on this: £100m National Retraining Scheme launches in Liverpool

Background: Government to announce new National Retraining Scheme

News: National Retraining Scheme could result in millions missing out, warns report

More training options

From today, the service will be available for more adults to test across the West Midlands and the North East. As part of the next phase of the rollout, a wider range of training options will be available online and adults will be able to be matched to different types of jobs with their existing skills.

With this initial phase a private service before it gets rolled out publicly across England from next year, eligible adults (who need to be aged 24 and over and only hold qualifications below degree level, as well as be working below a certain wage threshold) across the West Midlands, North East and the Liverpool City Region will be personally invited to test the service.

Later this year, Get Help to Retrain will be rolled out to three more locations – the Leeds City Region, Cambridge and Peterborough, and the South West. A series of additional products that will make up the full service are being developed and tested in parallel. The National Retraining Scheme – backed by £100 million of government investment – was a Conservative Party manifesto, and is led and overseen by the National Retraining Partnership.

'Helping adults whose jobs are at risk'

Ms Badenoch said: “Get Help to Retrain is just the start of the National Retraining Scheme, which will play a vital role helping adults whose jobs are at risk of changing or evolving due to new technologies to learn new skills and get on the path to a new, more rewarding career.

“We’re starting off small and rolling it out in stages so we can test, refine and develop the service as we go and make sure we get it right for the people who need it.”

Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the CBI, said: “It’s encouraging to see National Retraining Scheme testing rolled out to other locations across the country. Ensuring the UK’s workforce is fit for the future is essential to improving productivity growth. It’s the only sustainable route to higher wages and living standards.

“The world of work is changing, fast. The only way to help people adapt and learn throughout their careers is by employers and government working together. The National Retraining Partnership should kick-start a wider cross-government effort aimed at embracing the fourth industrial revolution.”

National Retraining Scheme: 'Just the beginning'

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Every worker should have the opportunity to improve their skills and retrain. This is especially important as technology and automation are set to transform Britain’s economy in the coming years.

“The launch of the first phase of the National Retraining Scheme is great news. It’s the beginning of a collaborative approach between government, unions and business to provide retraining to many more working people so they are prepared for the jobs of the future. Union learning reps will play a central role helping workers access opportunities through the scheme.

“These trials are just the beginning. We look forward to helping the National Retraining Partnership develop a full national programme to invest in the potential of all workers and deliver the skills we need for the future.”

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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