National Retraining Scheme launched

The government has announced the launch of the first element of the National Retraining Scheme, the Get Help to Retrain digital service.

The digital service is initially being trialled in Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and will then be extended to other parts of the country in advance of it being made available to all eligible adults in England early next year.

The current eligibility criteria are: those aged 24 and over, with a qualification below degree level, and earning below a specified salary threshold.

The Get Help to Retrain service “will help adults identify their existing skills, explore local job opportunities and where to go to find training courses to gain the skills they need to progress”.

The government’s press release also highlights that users of the digital service can access additional support from trained careers advisors who will be on hand “to guide people through the process and provide expert information and advice.”

It should be noted that this initial rollout involves eligible adults being “invited to trial the new service” in certain workplaces, so that it can be developed and fully evaluated, before being scaled up and rolled out to other areas in the coming months.

The announcement also clarifies that “a series of additional products that will make up the full service are being developed and tested in parallel, before being released at different times.”

The National Retraining Scheme is being led and overseen by the National Retraining Partnership, comprising the government, the TUC and the CBI.

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Rowan, Director of unionlearn, said:

Every worker should have the opportunity to improve their skills and retrain.

This is crucial as the labour market is transformed by technology and automation in the coming years. The launch of the first phase of the National Retraining Scheme marks the beginning of a new collaborative approach – opening retraining up to many more adults, and preparing them for the jobs of the future.

Union learning reps will play a key role in supporting workers to access the advice and retraining opportunities made available through the scheme.

This is just the beginning. The challenge for the National Retraining Partnership is to develop a national programme that invests in the potential of all workers, delivering the skills we need to compete in the growth sectors of the future.”