The Prime Minister’s Levelling up agenda and skills announcements

July 16, 2021

At a speech about ‘Levelling up’ in Coventry today, the Prime Minister stated: “Everyone knows that talent and energy and enthusiasm and flair are evenly spread across the UK, evenly spread. It is opportunity that is not and it is the mission of this Government to unite and level up across the whole UK. Not just because that is morally right but because if we fail then we are simply squandering vast reserves of human capital; we are failing to allow people to fulfil their potential and we are holding our country back. So today I want to talk again about that project of levelling up and to define it more closely and in advance of a White Paper later this year that will set out our plan to level up.”

He continued: “It is in post 16 education where the differences across our society are the starkest. It cannot be right that Bath has 78 per cent with a level three or a level equivalent qualification and Bradford has only 42 per cent. That is why this Government is obsessed with skilling up our population. We love our universities and we believe they are one of the glories of this country but we need to escalate the value of practical and vocational education that can transform people’s lives. And that is why we are rolling out T-Levels and apprenticeships because we know that higher level apprentices earn more than the average graduate five years after graduation.”

The full speech can be read in the link below:

The Prime Minister’s Levelling Up speech: 15 July 2021 – GOV.UK (

This was followed by a series of skills announcements from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

The Government’s successful Skills Bootcamp training programmes will be expanded to every region of the country, offering an extra 16,000 fully funded places for adults to upskill or retrain.

The expansion covers a range of digital and technical training covering green skills, such as solar energy installation, sustainable agriculture, nuclear energy, and green transport, along with coding and software development.

consultation has been launched on the future of the National Skills Fund, which has already supported thousands of adults to upskill and retrain through Skills Bootcamps. 

The consultation will ask for views on how the fund should be adapted for the future, so it continues to meet the future skills needs of individuals and employers, levelling up opportunities across the country.

Eighteen areas across the country will also be the first to lead work to build stronger partnerships between local employer groups, colleges and other providers through the Skills Accelerator programme, so the training on offer meets the need of local communities and fills skills gaps in key sectors of the economy including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing. 

New careers guidance has been published for all schools and colleges, to make sure that every young person is aware of all the options available to them, including apprenticeships and technical education opportunities instead of concentrating on the traditional university route.

further consultation has been launched on plans to simplify funding for adult skills training, while giving colleges more freedom to decide how best to support the training needs of the local communities they serve.


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