28 Aug 2019

Functional Skills and the National Retraining Scheme


The national retraining scheme is the government’s new programme to help adults retrain into better jobs and be ready for future changes to the economy, including those brought about by automation. Functional skills training, initially focusing on English and maths, will be a key part of the programme.

To support the development of the scheme, the government announced £100 million in the autumn budget 2018. This is for the continued testing and development of the scheme, as well as delivering the first parts of the scheme to the public. The scheme is available to people and businesses in England, and will initially support adults who:

  • are already in work
  • are aged 24 and over
  • do not have a qualification at degree level
  • are paid below a certain wage threshold – this threshold will be tested with people earning low to medium wages as we develop the scheme

The national retraining scheme aims to:

  • support people already in work to move into better jobs through training and tailored advice
  • complement existing training programmes for adults
  • encourage people to develop their flexibility and resilience in the world of work, so they can take advantage of new opportunities

The scheme will include a range of services to support people while they train and look for jobs. It will provide:

  • tailored advice and guidance from a qualified adviser
  • functional skills training, initially focusing on English and maths
  • flexible online and blended learning, a mix of online and face-to- face provision, enabling more adults to access training
  • in-work vocational training, learnt on the job

Find out more


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