Prime minister visits Devon to announce transformation of post-18 education
PUBLISHED: 13:52 29 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:33 29 September 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Devon on Tuesday (September 29) to announce plans to ‘transform’ post-18 education in the post-Covid-19 economy.
Boris Johnson visited the Devon and Exeter Construction Training Centre, at Exeter College, to make the announcement which included offering free and fully-funded courses to adults without an A-level or equivalent qualification.
He also announced that the plans, which will come into force from April 2021, will include higher education loans being made more flexible and more investment in college buildings and facilities.
The government’s £8million bootcamp pilot schemes in the West Midlands and Manchester for digital skills will be extended in 2021 to four new locations and will be rolled out in other sectors like construction and engineering.
He was joined during the visit by East Devon MP Simon Jupp.
Mr Jupp said: “It was brilliant to welcome the Prime Minister to Exeter College’s Construction Training Centre in Sowton to talk about his plan for new and skilled jobs.
“It’s time to end the bogus distinction between academic and practical learning and every student we met was enthusiastic about the future. Exeter College is at the forefront of plans to boost our economic recovery by giving people the skills they need for new opportunities ahead.”
During the visit Mr Johnson praised Exeter College and outlined further funding for its facilities:
He said: “The British economy is in the process of huge and rapid change, driven by the internet and the possibilities of remote communication,”
“But as old types of employment fall away, new opportunities are opening up with dizzying speed - vast new sectors in which this country already leads or can lead the world.
“It’s time for change. It’s time for radical change. And let’s begin by admitting part of the problem is that not every FE (further education) college [and] not every training college is as superb as Exeter College. “We need to invest in skills and we need to invest in FE.
“That’s why we’re putting in £1.5 billion into upgrading and improving colleges across the country, fixing the leaky ceilings, bringing forward £200 million this year. The facilities here are awesome, I’ve tried them myself this morning.”
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