Higher Level Skills

Over the past 25 years, the publicly-funded further education and skills system for people over the age of 16 has seen enormous change. We have seen many years of public spending restraint. Reforms to post-16 qualifications, apprenticeships and education and training providers have also been introduced.

We are working to create more learning opportunities for people of all ages, and to develop different ways for adults to participate. Higher level skills and the role of the Higher Education system play an important part in this. There are substantial economic benefits from lifelong learning, which cultivate better skills for the economy, improving productivity and developing more successful businesses. The social benefits are profound, leading to stronger communities, better attainment in schools, and a more tolerant society, with active citizenship, and improved health and well-being.