Last reviewed 6 May 2022

The Department for Education (DfE) believes that the skills and training landscape will be transformed as the Skills and Post-16 Education Act enters into force.

“Skills to support the growing green economy will be prioritised to create a workforce for jobs now and in the future,” the DfE said, “and schools will be required to make sure all children get to meet people that provide technical education routes such as apprenticeships, T Levels or traineeships – opening their eyes to a wide range of careers.”

Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart, has suggested that the new legislation will help economic recovery and growth by making it easier for people to get the skills they need to secure well-paid jobs in industries with skills gaps, such as health and social care, engineering, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.

It will also give more people the opportunity to get jobs in their local areas, he continued, by requiring employers and colleges to work together to identify the skills needed within communities.

Employers in eight areas across the country have already been working with local training providers to create skills plans that align to what local communities need.

These plans are now being rolled out across the country, the DfE confirmed, opening up more opportunities for people to gain the skills which they and businesses need to succeed.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), said: “Following passage of this landmark legislation, we can look forward to creating a unified skills system which is simpler to understand and employers and learners can really trust.”

Comment by Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director at Peninsula

Employers should take into consideration the lack of experience and/or qualifications of younger workers when completing recruitment exercises and not automatically dismiss individuals who don’t fit the traditional job requirements.

Businesses may be losing out on ideal candidates because they don’t have the degree certificate typically associated with that role, despite them having relevant experience and increased motivation and desire to succeed than their older counterparts.

With widespread labour shortages negatively impacting businesses across the UK, many are missing a trick by disengaging with younger workers. Organisations can also benefit from offering work-experience and internship programmes, to build long-term relationships and be involved in the shaping of young careers.