The National Skills Fund is being set up to help retrain workers who have lost their jobs, or those who simply want to change careers, get the skills they need to work in particular industries. Under the plan, the new “lifetime skills guarantee” would allow workers to retrain, with the cost picked up by the taxpayer.
Boris Johnson 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.
“I’m not going to say that any particular sector faces some fatal or mortal change, I think of all kinds of ways sectors will continue to evolve.
“But there will be change. And not every job will be the same.”
“So my message today is that at every stage of your life, this Government will help you get the skills you need.”
The shadow education secretary, Kate Green, said: “A week ago Labour called for a national retraining strategy fit for the crisis Britain faces, but what the Government proposes is simply a mix of reheated old policies and funding that won’t be available until April.
“By then many workers could have been out of work for nearly a year, and the Tories still think that they will need to take out loans to get the training they will need to get back in work.
“These measures will not reverse the devastating impact of a decade of cuts, and will not give workers the skills and support they need in the months ahead.”