Queen’s Speech: Major focus on FE and lifelong learning

Government source says ‘massive investment’ in further education is planned so people can upskill locally

Tes Reporter

Queen's Speech: Lifelong learning at heart of govt plan

The government is expected to introduce a new Skills and Post-16 Education Bill on Wednesday as part of a push to provide more lifelong learning opportunities through universities and colleges across the country.

The planned announcement will be a centrepiece of Tuesday’s Queen’s speech, with a “massive investment” in further education being touted by government sources, according to The Sunday Times.

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The plans include getting local employers to join forces with FE colleges to deliver a “skills accelerator programme”, and making universities and colleges accessible to people who want to study part-time while they are working.

Prime minister Boris Johnson will make the vow as a way to bring jobs and skills to so-called “red wall” areas, so people can thrive where they grew up, as a gesture to the voters who helped his party to election victory over the weekend.

A senior government source told the paper: “There is going to be a massive investment in further education and lifelong ‘upskilling’ so people can take on better-paid jobs in their local area. Some people will want to move for work but this is investment in communities so people can thrive where they live.”

The Queen’s Speech, on Tuesday 11 May, is when the monarch sets out the government’s legislative agenda.

Tuesday’s speech is also expected to outline plans to tackle the big backlog of delayed NHS operations and cancer treatments caused by the coronavirus.

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