Adults and young people across Milton Keynes will benefit from more high-quality and flexible education and training – levelling up opportunities and supporting more people into higher skilled, higher wage jobs.
For the financial year 2021-22, the Department for Education has awarded £150 million to colleges and universities to modernise and upgrade their facilities and equipment to boost access to higher technical training and flexible courses in key subjects, such as engineering, healthcare and science, that will help tackle regional skills gaps and level up local economies.
This includes funding that has been awarded following a small formula allocation and a bidding exercise to:
Milton Keynes College - £11,594
The Open University - £30,000
People looking to upskill or retrain will have access to more than 100 short courses starting from September next year, lasting between six weeks to a year, supporting them to space out their studies and learn at a pace that works for them. More than 20 universities and colleges will offer the courses in subjects where there are skills shortages, such as Digital, Net Zero, Education, STEM and Healthcare – offering an alternative to studying a traditional three-year degree.
A further nine Institutes of Technology have been announced bringing the total to 21 across the country and delivering on the government’s manifesto commitment, including the South Central Institute of Technology in Bletchley. Institutes of Technology are unique collaborations between employers, colleges and universities that specialise in offering high-quality Higher Technical Education and training in subjects such as advanced manufacturing, digital and cyber security, aerospace and healthcare, which will deliver the skilled workforce businesses need and get more people into jobs closer to home.
£150 million has also been awarded to 100 colleges and universities to upgrade their facilities and equipment to boost access to higher technical training and flexible courses in key subjects, such as engineering, healthcare and science, that will help tackle regional skills gaps and level up local economies.
Additionally, young people starting new T Level qualifications in 2023 in subjects such as Media, Broadcast and Production, Animal Care and Management and Catering are also set to benefit from over £150 million investment to upgrade teaching facilities and equipment.
The Department for Education has also confirmed that students studying courses including T Levels will benefit from an extra £615 million cash boost in the 2022-23 financial year so every young person can continue to access the training they need to succeed. The cash injection will see per student funding boosted by over 8%. This includes funding for an extra 40 hours of education per student to help them catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic. On top of this, funding for high value courses – those that deliver the skills that the country needs and which can lead to higher wages for students – and high cost courses including building and construction will also be increased.
Commenting, Iain Stewart MP said:
"The funding for the Open University and MK College will provide constituents with more high-quality and flexible education and training.
"This is part of this Government's levelling up agenda, giving local people the chance to upskill or retrain."
Colleges, schools and sixth forms delivering T Levels can bid for a share of over £150 million – from the fourth wave of the T Level Capital Fund. The funding will be used to refurbish buildings and facilities, including creating training kitchens for catering students, studios for media students, and facilities for agricultural courses such as trainee milking parlours or labs to learn about land science in readiness for students starting courses in September 2023.
The Chancellor announced in the Budget that an extra £1.6 billion would be invested in 16-19 education and training by 2024-25 compared with 2021-22 financial year. The Department for Education has published details of how £615 million of that funding will be invested next year.