Thank you for contacting me about vocational courses and low carbon skills.
I fully agree with you that skills are crucial to our economy and that vocational courses need to be fit for the future. That is why I welcome Ministers’ emphasis on skills as a core enabler of the Government's ambition to ‘level up’.
The Prime Minister has set out a series of reforms to ensure that everyone can get the skills they need. The new Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which is now open, is central to these reforms and offers a free, fully-funded college course to adults without an A-Level or equivalent qualification. There are almost 400 fully-funded courses included in this offer and I am delighted that courses are available in environmental conservation, science, and the designing, engineering, and construction of sustainable built environments, amongst others. Given the cross-cutting nature of climate change, I would expect the environment to play a prominent role in this programme.
The economy has incurred substantial change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and I am pleased that Ministers have published the Further Education White Paper. It will make sure people can get the education and training they need to get great jobs, and employers can fill the skills gaps they currently face, boosting our productivity and improving our international competitiveness.