New Government fund supports lifelong learning

Queen Elizabeth II delivers a speech from the throne in House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster

The new legislation was revealed in the Queen's Speech - Credit: PA

Katy Joy, Curriculum Head, Initial Teacher Training and Adult Learning Lead at South Devon College:

The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill was introduced to parliament this week, but what does it really mean for students and prospective students here in Torbay?

We agree with the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, set out last year, and believe that everyone can benefit from learning a new skill or gaining a new qualification whatever age they are.

The aim of the Bill is to underpin the Government’s skills and training revolution and help to create more routes into skilled employment ensuring people can secure well paid jobs.

A new fund has been launched to future proof post-16 provision with a Post-16 Capacity Fund.

At South Devon College we have students of all ages who want to change their career path, return to work, or gain extra qualifications so they can win promotions.

Fifty-two year old Ai Cuihong from Torquay has been studying with us to make herself more employable.

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Ai was a Mandarin teacher in China before moving to the UK. She felt her digital skills were letting her down and took a Level 1 basic digital skills course, along with maths A level and GCSE English before doing a Level 3 Supporting in Teaching and Learning course.

“I like to keep up to date,” said Ai. “At my age I am slower with technology than younger people and wanted to update my skills for my future career.”

Ai hopes to become either a teacher or a teaching assistant and says she loves learning and will never give up learning new skills.

“I’ve had so much help from South Devon College. The careers advice and the tutors have all helped and guided me. I have gained so much confidence.”

Ai is a great example of someone who came to the college knowing she had skills gaps but didn’t know what to do.

Our careers advisor was able to guide her and ensure she was taking the right courses for her career goal.

If, like Ai, you want to continue learning you’ll be offered plenty of support and encouragement at South Devon College.

If you need access to funding, childcare or flexible study time there is someone here who can help you.

At South Devon College we offer a diverse range of qualifications, from traditional GCSEs and A-levels and technical vocational qualifications, through to apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships and foundation degrees.

Everyone here believes that every person should be given the chance to gain the skills they need, when they need them and we’re here to help you make the right choice.