Prime Minister Boris Johnson chose ‘awesome’ Exeter College as the place to unveil plans to transform post-18 education in the post-Covid-19 economy.
He visited the Devon and Exeter Construction Training Centre at Sowton today (Tuesday, September 29) for the announcement.
It included offering free and fully-funded courses to adults without an A-level or equivalent qualification.
Mr Johnson also said the initiatie, which will come into force from April next year, will include higher education loans being made more flexible and more investment in college buildings and facilities.
The PM praised Exeter College, outlined more funding for its facilities and 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.
“It’s time for change. It’s time for radical change. And let’s begin by admitting part of the problem is that not every FE (further education) college [and]not every training college is as superb as Exeter College.
“We need to invest in skills and we need to invest in FE.
“That’s why we’re putting in £1.5billion into upgrading and improving colleges across the country, fixing the leaky ceilings, bringing forward £200 million this year.
“The facilities here are awesome, I’ve tried them myself this morning.”
East Devon MP Simon Jupp said: “It was brilliant to welcome the Prime Minister to Exeter College’s Construction Training Centre in Sowton to talk about his plan for new and skilled jobs.
“It’s time to end the bogus distinction between academic and practical learning and every student we met was enthusiastic about the future.
“Exeter College is at the forefront of plans to boost our economic recovery by giving people the skills they need for new opportunities ahead.”
Tiverton and Honiton MP Neil Parish added: “I was delighted with the PM’s visit to Exeter College, one of the great further education centres of our region.
“Many students in my constituency go to Exeter College because of its outstanding range of teaching and facilities.
“As someone who didn’t go on to further education, I am really passionate about providing more opportunities for people to retrain and upskill later in life.
“The PM’s announcement on this yesterday is fantastic – and I also look forward to capital investments in buildings both in my constituency and around the country.”
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