The long-awaited Further Education White Paper and interim response to the Augar Review both place an important emphasis on reskilling, employer engagement and technical education that is welcomed by universities and businesses alike, says the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB).

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the NCUB, said: “Further Education is a fundamental aspect of our education system. After numerous delays, we are very pleased that the White Paper published today places such a strong emphasis on skills and talent. Especially welcomed is clarity on how the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Lifelong Loan Allowance will work.”

Marshall concluded: Too often we see further education and higher education positioned as a trade-off. The Government wishes to rebalance technical and academic education. This means raising the bar for technical education, without lowering it for academic education. The Government’s promise to put employers ‘at the heart of the skills system’ is critical. Now more than ever, in a world still recovering from Covid-19, we need to see all educational providers and employers working together to meet the current and evolving needs of the labour market.”