Last reviewed 8 April 2021
From 1 April 2021 eligible adults can take courses and qualifications free of charge as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee offer in England.
There are around 400 qualifications available in a range of sectors, including Level 3 courses in early education and childcare. The offer of the free qualifications is available to any adult aged 19 and over who has not already achieved a qualification at Level 3, which is equivalent to A-levels.
The Lifetime Skills Guarantee was first announced in September 2020 with the aim to help people boost their skills and employability and to support the economic recovery from the pandemic. Backed by £95 million in government funding in 2021-2022, an estimated 11 million adults in England without an A-level or equivalent qualification will be able to take fully-funded college courses under this scheme.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“The launch of these free qualifications for adults is a pivotal moment in the delivery of our Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which will make sure everyone can train, retrain or upskill throughout their lives.”
“As we build back better and rebuild our economy, it is vital we level up more opportunities for people across the country and help more people progress in work.”
“This offer will help give millions of adults the chance to gain the skills they need to secure rewarding careers in key sectors of the economy including construction, healthcare and digital. With almost 400 to choose from, there is something there for everyone."
The full list of childcare and early years qualifications is available here and this will be updated as more courses are added.
More information on Lifetime Skills Guarantee offer.